This month, I am highlighting critical thinking activities to keep your students engaged during these last weeks of the school year. There are many ways to infuse critical thinking into your everyday curriculum, including through games. Today's critical thinking tool is a set of dominoes-- a versatile tool that has many purposes. Dominoes may not be a standard math tool, but they are great to have laying around. If you don't have any in your classroom, you can pick some up at the dollar store (usually one dollar per set).

1. With a partner, spread-out one set of face-down dominoes. This is called the boneyard.

2. The tallest player goes first.

3. In turn, each player grabs two dominoes from the boneyard.

4. Using the four numbers indicated on the dominoes, create a number sentence using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/ or division with a final result of any number from 0 to 12.

**Note:**Students can use one operation or any combination of the four.

5. Once a target number is reached, cover the number on the game board with your marker.

6. Continue playing until someone covers four numbers in a row, column, or diagonal.

**Note:**Some students will ask if they can use exponents. This is completely up to you. I sometimes tell students that they can only square numbers. Squaring a number does not affect the four digits on the dominoes and can be used even if the student's set of dominoes does not include a two.

**Free Resource Alert!**Grad a copy of this game here.

The second activity was featured in the November 2016 edition of my newsletter "Teaching Tidbits" and is called "Balance the Bones. In this domino game, partner duos use their critical thinking skills to create equivalent expressions with the numbers on four dominoes. This game emphasizes the use of the equal sign as an indicator that both sides have the same value instead of as a directional symbol to show that one set of operations leads to a single-number value. This game supports students' understanding that the equal sign shows balance between the expression on the left and the one on the right.

1. With a partner, spread-out one set of face-down dominoes. This is called the boneyard.

2. In turn, each player grabs one domino from the boneyard.

3. Using the eight numbers indicated on the four dominoes, teams create two equivalent numerical expressions using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/ or division. See the example below.

**Note:**Students can use one operation or any combination of the four.

4. Teams record their expressions on their whiteboard and the round is won when a team correctly records a set of equivalent expressions.

5. Continue playing until a team is able to create the most sets of equivalent numerical expressions after five rounds.

Both of these domino games make great station and fast finisher activities while infusing critical thinking into your curriculum.

In addition, they can both be modified to meet the needs of a variety of students because students choose which operations to use based on their own abilities.

**Free Resource Alert!**Grad a copy of this game here.Both of these domino games make great station and fast finisher activities while infusing critical thinking into your curriculum.

In addition, they can both be modified to meet the needs of a variety of students because students choose which operations to use based on their own abilities.

**Sound Off!**What are your favorite domino activities?

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