Adding Dots Together on a Domino

Area: Operations
Skill: Adding and Subtracting
Key Targeted Strategies:
  • Engage students in "Counting All"

What to Look for in This Clip:

"Counting all" is one of the first strategies students use to solve addition problems. In this strategy, learners first count sets separately, then combine sets, then count the total starting at one.

In this video, the teacher highlights this strategy as a boy is working to sort dominoes onto a number chart. The domino he's sorting has two dots on one side, and three on the other. At first, the student simply counts all five dots and places it in the "five" space. He notices he now has two dominoes with a total of five dots when he says, "I always get five!" The teacher takes this moment to build his understanding of addition by comparing the two dominoes. She comments, "So, three and two can make five. And, two and three can make five." She then gives the boy another way to visualize how two and three make five by using the "counting all" strategy. She guides him to hold up three fingers on one hand, then two fingers on the other hand, then using his nose to "count all".