How to Teach Math Using Doman’s Red Dot Cards

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I have been asked how to use the Doman “red dot cards” to teach Math to a child. There are many ways you can do this, but if you want specific step-by-step instructions, then there are these are the methods that I am aware of:

Both programs are pretty similar.  The fundamental difference is the number of repetitions.  Doman’s method includes a lot more repetitions.  You can find the step-by-step instructions for teaching Math following Doman’s method from Glenn Doman’s book “How to Teach Your Baby Math“, or you can follow the outline I have prepared here (I’ll cover the Shichida Math Method in another post):

Materials required: Set of 100 red dot cards (you can download the set I made, buy the Math Kit from Glenn Doman, or you can make your own).

BrillKids Little Math – Doman’s Math Method

If you have the BrillKids Little Math software, you can also download these “open and play” files for Doman’s Math Method.

More about BrillKids Little Math.

Teaching Quantity

Day 1: Morning – Take the first ten dot cards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

1. Shuffle and divide into two sets of five cards.
2. Flash the cards at the rate of one card per second and say the number as you flash the card.

Afternoon – Repeat step one and two.

Evening – Repeat step one and two.

(Technically speaking, you don’t have to flash the cards in the morning, afternoon, and evening.  There must be an interval of at least 15 minutes between each session).

Day 2: Repeat Day 1

Day 3: Repeat Day 1

Day 4: Repeat Day 1

Day 5: Repeat Day 1

Day 6: Remove cards representing 1 and 2.  Add cards representing 11 and 12.  Repeat step one and two from Day 1 once in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

Day 7: Remove 3 and 4.  Add 13 and 14.  Repeat step one and two from Day 1 once in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

Day 8: Remove 5 and 6.  Add 15 and 16.  Repeat step one and two from Day 1 once in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

Day 9: Remove 7 and 8.  Add 17 and 18. Repeat step one and two from Day 1 once in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

Day 10: Remove 9 and 10.  Add 19 and 20. Repeat step one and two from Day 1 once in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

Introducing Addition

Day 11: Remove 11 and 12.  Add 21 and 22.

Morning – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random addition problems using cards 1 to 20.  For example: 1+5=6, 4+9=13, 7+3=10.

Afternoon – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random addition problems using cards 1 to 20.  For example: 14+5=19, 8+7=15, 12+8=20.

Evening – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random addition problems using cards 1 to 20.  For example: 6+5=11, 18+1=19, 5+3=8.

How to flash the Math problems: say “one (show 1) plus five (show 5) equals six (show 6).

Day 12: Remove 13 and 14.  Add 23 and 24.  Repeat steps in Day 11 with 9 new addition problems – show 3 problems per session.

Day 13: Remove 15 and 16.  Add 25 and 26.  Repeat steps in Day 11 with 9 new addition problems – show 3 problems per session.  At this point, when you do the math problems, you only have to show the answer card.  For example, 6+1=7, just flash the 7 card.

Day 14: Remove 17 and 18.  Add 27 and 28.  Repeat steps in Day 11 with 9 new addition problems – show 3 problems per session.

Day 15: Remove 19 and 20.  Add 29 and 30. Repeat steps in Day 11 with 9 new addition problems – show 3 problems per session.

Day 16: Remove 21 and 22.  Add 31 and 32. Repeat steps in Day 11 with 9 new addition problems – show 3 problems per session.

Day 17: Remove 23 and 24. Add 33 and 34.  Repeat steps in Day 11 with 9 new addition problems – show 3 problems per session.

Day 18: Remove 25 and 26. Add 35 and 36.  Repeat steps in Day 11 with 9 new addition problems – show 3 problems per session.

Day 19: Remove 27 and 28.  Add 37 and 38. Repeat steps in Day 11 with 9 new addition problems – show 3 problems per session.

Day 20: Remove 29 and 30.  Add 39 and 40. Repeat steps in Day 11 with 9 new addition problems – show 3 problems per session.

Introducing Subtraction

Day 21: Remove 31 and 32.  Add 41 and 42.

Morning – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random subtraction equations using cards 1 to 40.  For example: 24-13=11, 38-13=25, 40-30=10.

Afternoon – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random subtraction equations using cards 1 to 40.  For example: 16-7=9, 22-2=20, 34-12=22.

Evening – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random subtraction equations using cards 1 to 40.  For example: 19-4=15, 8-2=6, 27-1=26.

Day 22:  Remove 33 and 34.  Add 43 and 44.  Repeat steps in Day 21 with 9 new subtraction equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 23: Remove 35 and 36.  Add 45 and 46.  Repeat steps in Day 21 with 9 new subtraction equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 24: Remove 37 and 38.  Add 47 and 48.  Repeat steps in Day 21 with 9 new subtraction equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 25: Remove 39 and 40.  Add 49 and 50.  Repeat steps in Day 21 with 9 new subtraction equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 26: Remove 41 and 42.  Add 51 and 52.  Repeat steps in Day 21 with 9 new subtraction equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 27: Remove 43 and 44.  Add 53 and 54.  Repeat steps in Day 21 with 9 new subtraction equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 28: Remove 45 and 46.  Add 55 and 56.  Repeat steps in Day 21 with 9 new subtraction equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 29: Remove 47 and 48.  Add 57 and 58.  Repeat steps in Day 21 with 9 new subtraction equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 30: Remove 49 and 50.  Add 59 and 60.  Repeat steps in Day 21 with 9 new subtraction equations – show 3 equations per session.

Introducing Multiplication

Day 31: Remove 51 and 52.  Add 61 and 62.

Morning – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random multiplication equations using cards 1 to 60.  For example: 4×5=20, 7×8=56, 3×11=33.

Afternoon – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random multiplicationequations using cards 1 to 60.  For example: 20×3=60, 15×2=30, 9×6=54.

Evening – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random multiplication equations using cards 1 to 60.  For example: 13×3=39, 16×2=32, 3×2=6.

Day 32: Remove 53 and 54.  Add 63 and 64.  Repeat steps in Day 31 with 9 new multiplication equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 33: Remove 55 and 56.  Add 65 and 66.  Repeat steps in Day 31 with 9 new multiplication equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 34: Remove 57 and 58.  Add 67 and 68.  Repeat steps in Day 31 with 9 new multiplication equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 35: Remove 59 and 60.  Add 69 and 70.  Repeat steps in Day 31 with 9 new multiplication equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 36: Remove 61 and 62.  Add 71 and 72.  Repeat steps in Day 31 with 9 new multiplication equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 37: Remove 63 and 64.  Add 73 and 74.  Repeat steps in Day 31 with 9 new multiplication equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 38: Remove 65 and 66.  Add 75 and 76.  Repeat steps in Day 31 with 9 new multiplication equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 39: Remove 67 and 68.  Add 77 and 78.  Repeat steps in Day 31 with 9 new multiplication equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 40: Remove 69 and 70.  Add 79 and 80.  Repeat steps in Day 31 with 9 new multiplication equations – show 3 equations per session.

Introducing Division

Day 41: Remove 71 and 72.  Add 81 and 82.

Morning – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random division equations using cards 1 to 80.  For example: 70/10=7, 63/7=9, 64/8=8.

Afternoon – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random division equations using cards 1 to 80.  For example: 60/4=15, 42/6=7, 48/4=12.

Evening – Repeat step one and two from Day 1. Then show three random division equations using cards 1 to 80.  For example: 72/9=8, 36/2=18, 54/9=6.

Day 42: Remove 73 and 74.  Add 83 and 84.  Repeat steps in Day 41 with 9 new division equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 43: Remove 75 and 76.  Add 85 and 86.  Repeat steps in Day 41 with 9 new division equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 44: Remove 77 and 78.  Add 87 and 88.  Repeat steps in Day 41 with 9 new division equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 45: Remove 79 and 80.  Add 89 and 90.  Repeat steps in Day 41 with 9 new division equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 46: Remove 81 and 82.  Add 91 and 92.  Repeat steps in Day 41 with 9 new division equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 47: Remove 83 and 84.  Add 93 and 94.  Repeat steps in Day 41 with 9 new division equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 48: Remove 85 and 86.  Add 95 and 96.  Repeat steps in Day 41 with 9 new division equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 49: Remove 87 and 88.  Add 97 and 98.  Repeat steps in Day 41 with 9 new division equations – show 3 equations per session.

Day 50: Remove 89 and 90.  Add 99 and 100.  Repeat steps in Day 41 with 9 new division equations – show 3 equations per session.

By this stage, you child has learned quantities from 1 to 100, and seen 360 equations consisting of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Now you can choose to show more complicated math equations, for example: 4+5+6+7=22, 15+6-2=19, 5×8/4=10.  You can also teach your child about the quantity zero and show various equations relating to zero.  You can show the different mathematical operations: +, -, x, /, =, <, >, ≤, and ≥. You can show sequences, for example: 1+1, 1+2, 1+3, etc.  You can teach anything you want.

Related:

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

42 thoughts on “How to Teach Math Using Doman’s Red Dot Cards

  1. hi dr…
    Hope you are good. In ready to play doman cards section ..only till day 24 is available…whether remaining part is available somewhere else ?? sorry for the inconvenience

    1. Hi Rahila – this page is still a work in progress with new days added every couple of days. You can begin now. I will be sure to keep ahead of your progress.

  2. Hi Shen-Li,
    Thank you so much for this clear and detailed explanation!
    I’m just wondering how you show multiplication and division equations? Do you just say “Four times three equals twelve”, while showing the appropriate cards, and the child somehow gets it? Or do you show them four cards with three dots each? How exactly does it work?
    Thanks again!

    1. My pleasure Aura. Yes, in the instructions from Doman, you would say “four (show four dots) times three (show three dots) equals twelve (show twelve dots). This may help your child know the answers to multiplication but I feel it is still important to teach with physical manipulatives later on why 4×3=12 by demonstrating 4 groups of 3 objects becomes 12. The latter will help reinforce the “why” and build a deeper understanding for later maths.

      Regarding your other question – all ten cards are flashed three times a day. I don’t know why Doman advises us to divide the cards into two lots of five but all ten cards are shown in the same session. So it’s really three sessions of ten cards, just that the ten cards are shown five at a time.

  3. Sorry, one more question: you say at the beginning to divide the 10 cards into 2 sets of 5, and then flash them three times a day. Does that mean flash all ten three times a day? Five in each session, so you’re doing six sessions, or all ten in each session?

    1. Hi Neha – algebra is quite an abstract topic so it can be trickier for children to understand. There is a wonderful app called DragonBox which introduces algebra concepts to children in a fun way through game play. It is recommended for children from age 5. You can see it here – https://dragonbox.com/

      1. Thank you so much for your reply. My kids are 2.5 year old. So which math concepts can be introduced at this age group and how? Please guide

      2. Hi Neha,

        At this age, you can play simple games that reinforce basic arithmetic concepts taught in Doman’s red dot card program – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You can supplement the learning using manipulatives to help young children understand it through a concrete demonstration. E.g. using counters, you can show that 4 items plus 5 items equals 9 items; 4 items multiplied by 5 times equals 20 items.

        You can also demonstrate the concept of fractions – I can cut this cake in half; one slice is one eighth of the cake; when we share this portion, it is one sixteenth. You can also use manipulatives to reinforce fractions learning or things like LEGO blocks make great hands-on learning for math.

        In the kitchen, you can teach concepts measuring – weight and cups – through cooking recipes. Making something they like to eat adds an aspect of fun to the learning.

        You can teach your child the names of shapes – square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, circle, etc. Look for objects that match these shapes – e.g. a stop sign is an octagon (it has 8 sides).

        Teach patterns – arrange the blocks in alternating colours, e.g. red, blue, red, blue. When that’s easy, add another colour (or shape).

        Compare sizes – can you order these toys from smallest to biggest?

        Order – which one is the third one? Fifth one? 10th one? etc.

        There are so many different games you can play that can incorporate math elements.

  4. Your explanation is neat and clear… Thanks a lot for your detailed explanation. One question is, when you show additional equation 7+2=9, do we need to show symbol card as well ? For plus + sign and equal = sign ? Or to just say orally is enough ? Please clarify…

    1. No, it is not necessary to show the symbol card. You can say “one”, show the one dot card, plus “two”, show the two dot card, equals “three”, show the three dot card. You show each card depicting the numbers but not the signs. However, later on, if you wish to show your child that plus is represented by the sign “+” and equals by the sign “=”, you may do so. In teaching equations, you don’t have to.

  5. Hi mam, I was initially struggling to prepare materials, but with your doman math page it is full by itself. I am just showing the way it is to my 20 month old. Thank you. However I am having a elder one to whom i was showing patterened dot cards. Can we have the same package with patterened dots as well like day1 day2 etc. ( asking help because he’s only interested if show in laptop). Thanks in advance mam.

  6. Hi ,
    Your explanations are mind blowing. I have a doubt could you please clear. do we need shuffle 1 to 10 cards and split it into two sets?
    Shuffling the cards will not be in sequential order right

    1. Hi Jansi. Yes – the cards should be shuffled before dividing into two sets of five cards. This is done so the cards are not in sequential order.

  7. Hi mam
    My son’s age is 2.8. Is that possible to do both the methods now? If it is possible which method I should do first

    1. Doman Maths is usually recommended for children 3 years and below. At 2.8 years, you can certainly give it a go. I personally do not believe it makes a difference which method you choose. It depends on which you are comfortable with. If you have the time and can continue, I would recommend doing one method followed by the other. The repetition of the complete program all over again is important. It is generally harder to work with an older child, but I still believe you should try. At this age, I would also recommend reinforcing the learning by using manipulatives (https://rightbrainchild.com/2021/05/25/the-purpose-of-manipulatives-for-learning-maths/).

  8. Thank you so much for your reply.
    Which is better (Random red dot cards or sequencial dot cards)?

  9. Thanks for your valuable words. How can we decide that the child had been stimulated by the right brain education method?

  10. Hi,

    I want to start the Doman math method with my 9 month old and 2.9 month old.

    Do I follow day 1-50 exactly how you explained it above?

    1. Yes. Day 1 to 50 is the start of the Doman Math program. This builds the foundation. After that, you can move to numerals and other math topics, like sequences, greater than and less than, equalities and inequalities, number personality, fractions and algebra.

  11. Great post, thank you! My son is 33 months old, outside the recommended age range for Doman’s math program. I still, however, would like to give it a try with my kid. Are you familiar with any success stories applying the Doman program with kids older than 30 months?

    1. Hi Ada. The Doman dot program for children over 30 months can provide a basic foundation in number concepts, sequences and basic arithmetic. It can be supported further by demonstrating the concepts with physical manipulatives, such as counters, or an abacus. I believe this should be the direction even when teaching children below 30 months because they will not retain the math knowledge if it is not reinforced with further repetitions.

  12. Hello ma’am,
    My son is 3 yr 10 months now, we started RBE when he was 2.6 years and our program is on/ off since then but I have always tried to be consistent. My son isn’t doing problem solving, so I was little concerned on how to make his maths stronger using Right brain techniques, kindly help how to make maths dot cards interesting and what else can I do apart from flashcards to make maths a fun subject

    1. Hi. You can change up your flashcards to include pictures of things your son likes instead of the red dots. I also recommend incorporating physical manipulatives to reinforce mathematical concepts. I have a post on it here – https://rightbrainchild.com/2021/05/25/the-purpose-of-manipulatives-for-learning-maths/

      Using Montessori techniques to support your math lessons is also a good way. You can get some tips for this here – https://montessorifortoday.com/how-does-montessori-teach-math/

      1. Hmm thanks ma’am.. I had one more query just doing the math program even if my son is seeing cards and sometimes he gives answers in problem solving will also make him love maths?.. i never force maths, sometimes he jumps looking at dot cards and wants to jump (for 3 dots, 3 times he jumps) i just want him to love maths in future and have a strong mathematics base.. can I expect the results later ?? Or he just doesn’t want to show up now? I dont understand how is this working in my case.. kindly help

      2. That sounds like he is enjoying the program. If he wants to jump, let him. It is part of what makes learning about math enjoyable for him. It can set the foundation for understanding math and perhaps enjoyment of the subject but it does not guarantee that he will always love it. There are too many factors in life that can alter his interests as he grows older – for example, a bad math teacher. All we can do is try to set the right start for our children. Exposure to math early can help.

      3. Ohk ma’am what activities apart from flashcards i can do to develop a better understanding of maths concept

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