Strategy

Dice

Number Cubes, Game Cubes

UDL 2.5 UDL 5.2

Utilizing dice in the classroom can be an effective method for engaging students in learning and practicing math concepts. From the early concepts of number recognition and counting to more complex concepts such as probability and algebra, dice can be used across grade levels. Many different types of dice exist including: standard dot dice, numbered dice, place value dice, fraction and decimal dice and polyhedra dice. Teachers can incorporate dice while modeling new concepts, to facilitate student practice or as a tool for a wide variety of math games.

Ready-to-Use Resources

Activity

Counting with Dice

Interactive math activity that incorporates dice. Students use dice for visual and kinesthetic reinforcement of counting skills. Use these resources to increase student engagement during independent practice and build math fluency.

Grade K · Math · 1 pages


Activity

Single-Digit Addition and Subtraction with Dice

Interactive math activities that incorporate dice. Students use dice to create and solve math problems. Targeted skills include single digit addition and subtraction. Use these resources to increase student engagement during independent practice and build math fluency.

Grade K, 1, 2 · Math · 2 pages


Activity

Double-Digit Addition and Subtraction with Dice

Interactive math activities that incorporate dice. Students use dice to create and solve math problems. Targeted skills include double digit addition and subtraction. Use these resources to increase student engagement during independent practice and build math fluency.

Grade 1, 2, 3, 4 · Math · 2 pages


Activity

Fraction Operations with Dice

Interactive math activity that incorporates dice. Students use dice to create and solve problems involving fractions. Use these resources to increase student engagement during independent practice and build math fluency

Grade 4, 5, 6 · Math · 1 pages


Activity

Mixed Operations with Dice

Interactive math activity that incorporates dice. Students use dice to create and solve multi-step addition, subtraction, and multiplication problems. Use these resources to increase student engagement during independent practice and build math fluency.

Grade 5, 6 · Math · 1 pages


Activity

Multiplication with Dice

Interactive math activities that incorporate dice. Students use dice to create and solve multiplication problems. Use these resources to increase student engagement during independent practice and build math fluency.

Grade 3, 4, 5 · Math · 2 pages


Implementation Tips

Time to Play with Dice
When using dice with elementary students, it's a good idea to have a plan for how you will manage the manipulatives. You may wish to give students a minute to play with the dice prior to, or following, getting started.
Supporting Independent Practice
When providing students dice to use for independent or cooperative practice, make sure that the directions for their use are clear. It's a good idea to print easy-to-use directions for any dice games or practice formats that you will use ongoing. These can be printed on card stock or laminated for reuse from year to year.
Affordable Places to Get Dice
Many online retailers offer dice in bulk at reasonable prices. You may also be able to secure dice donations from business or organizations that are likely to have dice, such as a gaming facility.
More Information about Using Dice
Check out EAI Education's resource involving using dice to teach [[http://www.eaieducation.com/PDF/530178.pdf|Probability]].

Examples

Early Elementary
When working with students to practice addition and subtraction within 20, teachers can use large foam dot dice to practice. The teacher can use the dots on the dice to reinforce the meaning of the value of each digit, prior to adding or subtracting the values together. As students gain a stronger understanding of the concept, teachers can allow students to use the foam dice to generate and practice new problems. The dice can then be placed in a learning center for ongoing spiraled practice throughout the year.
Upper Elementary
As students learn to solve multi-step problems involving the four operations, they can facilitate student practice through an engaging dice game. First, students work in groups of three or four and roll a twelve-sided die to determine a "target" number. Each student then takes a turn rolling four six-sided dice, which he or she will then use the numbers shown to construct an equation with any of the four operations. The player getting closest to the target number receives a point and the first player to five points wins the game. A recording sheet is used to ensure student accountability and allow the teacher to check for student accuracy.
Middle School
Middle school math teachers can use dice to help students understand the concept of probability. As a class, students can determine the theoretical probability of rolling doubles on a pair of six-sided dice. Then, students can roll two six-sided dice fifty times and record their answers to determine the experimental probability of rolling doubles. Finally, students can determine the fraction of rolls that yield doubles and the percentage of rolls that yield doubles using this experimental probability data.
High School
High school students can generate and represent data with plots on the real number line including dot plots, histograms, and box plots.

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