Hey, hey my fellow special education teachers! If you're anything like me, you're always on the lookout for fresh teaching strategies that are both effective and engaging.
Well, today, I've got a game-changer for you. You ready for it? It's dominoes! Yes, you heard me right, dominoes with embedded learning concepts!
These little tiles have huge potential for teaching various topics such as coin identification, addition, subtraction, shapes, numbers, and colors.
So, pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit down, and let me break it down for you why dominoes are a powerful tool for your special education classroom.
Reason 1: Hands-On Learning at its Best
Get ready to let your students' hands and minds do the work. Using manipulatives like dominoes "allows students to do more than just hear and see the learning; they can touch, hold, and explore what they're learning," says Education Consultant Bonnie Febre. Not only does this type of learning keep them engaged, but it also helps with retention and gets their creative juices flowing.
Reason 2: Math Skills for Real-Life Success
Teaching math concepts like addition and subtraction is one of the most significant benefits of using dominoes in the classroom.
But, what I love most is that this real-life skillset can pave the way for your special education students. Caitlin Curley, an education expert, says that using dominoes for math activities helps students learn to count quickly and accurately.
As a special educator, you know that this is crucial for their future success.
Reason 3: Cognitive Development Boost
Playing dominoes can be a valuable way to boost cognitive function in your students. "When playing dominoes, students pay attention to detail, match patterns correctly, and sequence to win the game," says education expert Rachel Healy.
This exercise strengthens their visual processing, spatial awareness, memory retention, logical reasoning, and attention to detail. These are all critical skills that can carry over into other areas of their lives.
Reason 4: Strengthen Social Interaction
No matter what level of special education you teach, fostering social interaction is a key component of a successful classroom. Enter dominoes. While playing, students learn how to take turns, negotiate, and play as a team. It's an excellent opportunity for children who struggle socially to meet and bond with other students.
Reason 5: Customize and Print Your Own Domino Sets
Say goodbye to pre-made standard dominoes and hello to printable domino sets that cater to all the topics I've mentioned in this post.
Plus, printable domino games can be prepped in under five minutes per set. Who doesn't love easy prep?
Now that you know why I'm a domino enthusiast, I'm excited to see you implement them into your special education classroom.