Got Dice for Math? Leave the Worksheet Behind!

By: Mary Kienstra on: January 23, 2014  in: dice, differentiation, engagement. computation, Math

Dice add a magic element for any math lesson!  Kids see dice as game pieces, but I see dice as a key to student engagement in math.  Got dice? Add dice and leave the worksheet behind!


The beautiful thing about using dice in math is that any lesson with dice comes to life!  It might seem easy, but students can use dice for any kind of math lesson.  I bought regular dice and fraction dice at www.amazon.com. Simple purchase for the amount of engagement they provide.  

My students love to roll dice for math problems.  When the dice come out, the engagement goes up!  They are instantly intrigued by what might happen next.  Everyone participates by throwing the dice and practicing math.  

Add dice to your lessons to engage and involve students.

1.    Find the sum:  Roll the dice and add.  Differentiated for different learners with the number of dice they roll.  Everyone is using dice to add, but at the appropriate level.  Find the least or greatest sum.  Enjoy!
2.    Find the difference:  Roll the dice and subtract to find the difference.  Differentiate by rolling more dice to create double or triple digit numbers.  Calculate the least or greatest difference.  Think!
3.    Find the product:  Roll the dice and multiply.  Differentiate by asking students to find the greatest possible product or least possible product.  Now students are analyzing and trying different combinations.  Throw more dice and students are multiplying double and digit numbers.  Engage!
4.    Find the quotient:  Roll the dice and divide.  Students can roll several dice and divide with multi-digit dividends and divisors.  Differentiate with finding the greatest possible OR least possible quotient.  Once again, practicing same skill but at a different level of thinking. Analyze!

Fraction dice add practice with fraction computation.

Now, to mix it up — toss in the fraction dice.  With fraction dice, students can compare, order, add, subtract, multiply, and divide.  Toss two dice, three, four, depending on the level of challenge.  Once again, these lessons can be differentiated to enhance the learning experience of every student. Anything you can do with regular dice, you can do with fraction dice — only more!  Combine regular dice with fraction dice to create even more combinations.  Take advantage of these cubic wonders for improving student engagement. 

Break out of the worksheet mold.  Use dice and a bit of creativity to keep your students involved.  Tossing dice is engaging.  Give it a try!

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