Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dot Talks

How do you know school has started? Your 12 year old comes down with a 105 fever! And of course my husband is out of town so the fun is all mine.

My 2nd week of school was okay except my kidlets are too chatty. Looks like super strict is on the agenda for Monday.

They are also having a hard time remembering to use the restroom at recess instead of missing class time. I finally gave them each a stick with their name on it to use as a bathroom pass. This is their one freebie. After that, they have to put their clip down. Amazingly, the number of bathroom requests decreased.

I  have been incorporating some of the strategies I learned at my Common Core math training.
If you would like to try a Dot Talk (a version of a Number Talk), make a dot pattern with dot stickers (or use a bingo dabber) on chart paper, multiple times.
 Call on student to tell how many they see. List all answers, even misconceptions, on the right. I think some of my friends knew their answer was wrong but just wanted to share. I am told this will lessen with time.

Then I called on a student and asked, "How did you know?" The student describes how they arrived at their answer and I transcribe on the chart. Then I ask, "Who saw it a different way?"

What I love about this activity:
1. Students are learning to verbalize their thinking- a HUGE part of the Common Core.
2. Students see that there are multiple solutions to a problem and not only one right answer.
3. By putting their name on the chart, the student takes ownership and we end up referring to it as "Kyla's way." How empowering is that?!

Dot activities strengthen number sense by practicing subitizingSubitizing is the ability to immediately recognize the quantity of a small number of objects without counting. This starts with easy patterns like those on a dice but then can be expanded to decomposing larger numbers (10 is 8 and 2.) You can see how this is a precursor to knowing the parts of a number.

I also started using Dot Cards to first have students practice building patterns with counters on a work mat and then later to "Tell Me Fast" when I hold the card up quickly. I didn't want to deal with storing plates or stickers coming off so I made my own digital version and laminated.
 I made 32 large flash cards in different configurations for the numbers 1-10. Included in the download are directions for 2 different activities and a work mat. Click {HERE} to purchase from my TpT store.

Eventually I will put these in a math tub for partners to flash at each other for more practice.

As usual, I will give a free copy away if you would like to enter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Thanks for doing up the great dot cards! They are in my cart to purchase!

  2. Looks great!! I was planning on making some plates, but these would be so much easier to store!

    First Grade Garden

  3. I love the idea of Dot Talks! Thanks for sharing. :)

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  4. I love dot cards I have been using them for years. I am going to check these out. I am going to do the dot talk tomorrow!!!

  5. Heading over to check them out. Great idea made easy by you:) Thanks for saving me time...

    The Resourceful Apple

  6. We are going to start number bonds soon in first grade and this will be a good segue. Thanks and I hope I win!!

    You Might Be a First Grader...

  7. Love the Dot stuff---I love this!!!!!!
    Hope your twelve year old is feeling better.

  8. Those are GREAT ideas! I have been having difficulty with my students using the restroom at appropriate times too, so this is something that I will start today!! Thanks for the great ideas!
    Please check out my blog!