Focus on Math

Helping children become mathematicians!

Dot Plate Make-and-Take: A Great Success! November 23, 2013

Screen shot 2013-11-23 at 1.46.43 PMThe Dot Plate Make-and-Take workshop was a rousing success! In spite of the nearly -30 C temperatures and the slippery road conditions, the registrants all showed up, some driving an hour or more to come.

We talked about number concepts for students in kindergarten to grade 2, mainly focusing on the “big four” relationships that we want students to understand regarding numbers 1 to 10:

  • One more/one less (and two more/two less above K)
  • Anchors of 5 and 10
  • Whole-part-part
  • Visual/spatial relationships

With those firmly established, we are able, over time and grades, to take those same relationships and help students make those same connections with other larger and more complex numbers.

Participants made a set of Dot Plates using desert-sized paper plates (we used sturdy ones), bingo daubers and a pattern guide. They also received copies of small dot cards (4 sets printed onto coloured card stock), a set of large card stock dominoes. All of these are visual tools that can be used to build the above “big four” relationships. We also discussed the use of ten frames (large, teacher-sized ones, small student-sized printed ones, and blank five- and ten-frames) which are particularly good for anchoring numbers to 5 and 10.


Download here:



Go to the bottom of the Math Camp 2013 blog post to download the following:

  • Dot plate pattern sheet
  • Small dot card pattern pages
  • Large dot card pattern pages set 1, set 2, set 3
  • Student ten frames
  • Teacher ten frames


Mathematically yours,



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