The Dot Game


To illustrate the mechanism of the decimal system.
To focus the child’s attention on the mechanism of changing.
This game prepares the child for abstract addition.

5 to 5.5 years

Paper which is squared and has columns headed 1, 10, 100, 1000 and 10,000.
The columns are divided into small squares so that there are ten in each horizontal row.
At the foot of each column are two spaces, the upper one for indicating the changing process with dots, and lower one for the result.
There is a blank column on the right side in which the problem to be done is written.
A lead pencil, an orange colored pencil and a ruler.

The teacher.

At a table, the child writes his name and date in the appropriate places.
Note the column headings. Have the child identify the numbers 1 – 1000, introduce 10,000.
Write 4 or 5 four digit addends in the blank column with the child.
The child reads the equation.
State that we put a dot for each number in its proper category.
Begin with the first addend starting with the units.
Fill up the rows from left to right – when the row is complete continue on to the next row below.

To count dots:
Begin at the units, upon reaching 10 – put a line through the ten dots and add an orange dot to the next higher category.
Continue counting.
When reaching a number less than 10, record that number in the bottom box of that column.
Read the answer and write the sum below the addends.

Exercise: As in the presentation.

Begin as before.
This time put out the dots according to the category starting with the units (ie. put out the dots for all the units in all the addends – count as above, only now the orange dot(s) will appear at the beginning of the top row – repeat the process for tens, hundreds, thousands).

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