## Dice Games To Reinforce Math Skills

1 2 3 Come Do Some Nice Dice Activities With Me!

MY Y5'S LOVED playing with dice.   I did all sorts of fun activities with them to help reinforce math concepts with numbers 1 to 6, so I decided to design a dice packet complete with cards and activities. Click on the link to view/download this fun packet. Dice Activities That Teach Math Skills.

Dice are a wonderful vehicle for teaching your kiddo's to subitize.  Subitizing, was coined in 1949 by E.L. Kaufman. The term is derived from the Latin adjective subitus which means "sudden".  A person who has affectively mastered this skill immediately knows how many items there are, without having to stop and count them.

According to studies most people can subitize up to 10.  Dominoes are also a fun way to get subitizing practice in.  Click on the link for my Dominoe Math Packet.

With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to have a set of big dice flashcards to use for practice.  Print, laminate & trim the cards and fasten them together with a split ring.  Flash a card and have children call out that number.  To whole-group assess, flash a card and have children silently hold up that many fingers.  You can tell at a glance who is having difficulty.

The packet includes a set of large teacher dice cards, a smaller set for students to sequence, + a mini set so you can play a whole-group game of "Show Me What I Need To Make __________."  Teacher holds up her big card and asks children to show them what they need to make another number.  i.e. I hold up the #2 dice, and ask children to show me what other dice they need to make the sum of 5.  They would hopefully show me the #3 card.

I've also included math symbol cards, so students can make equations, a bookmark you can use as a whole-group assessment game, a roll & dot dice game, 2 trace-write and match worksheets, + a What's Missing? activity.

Laminate a set of bookmarks and use them for another math dice activity.   Review the numbers orally and have children point to that number and count with you.  You can count from a certain number up to 6 or even count backwards.

Make extra copies of the medium-sized cards so students can play a Memory Match game. They can match the dice to the number box, or the number word, or all three.  I've also included a cover so students can sequence the cards and make an Itty Bitty booklet.  There's a separate set of dice-number-number word cards to print, laminate and cut into puzzles too.

These are a wonderful whole-group assessment tool too.  Give students one M&MM (mighty math marker) to move to whatever number is called out.  After glancing around, jot down names of children and the numbers they are having problems identifying.  I used sticky notes and a clipboard. After the game, students can eat their candy.

Children can also practice one-to-one correspondence, by having them place however many pony beads or other small items, onto the square that will match the number amount on the dice picture.   Click on the link to view/download the Dice Math Packet

As far as dice are concerned, I really like the large foam dice that they sell at The Dollar store.  They are easy for little ones to hold, don't fly on the floor as much, and are blessedly quiet!  If your Dollar Store doesn't have them, you can also purchase them from Oriental Trading.  They are only \$4 for a dozen.  They come in an assortment of rainbow colors, so i also used them for patterning.

Another quiet way I had my students "roll dice" was to recycle those mini water bottles.  I'd toss two dice inside, fill with water and a bit of glitter and glue the caps shut with Gorilla Glue.

Students enjoyed shaking up the dice and then peeking on the bottom to see what their numbers were.  Use a drop of food coloring or a pinch of plastic seasonal confetti, for extra pizzazz or to make special ones for Halloween, Valentine's Day etc.

I wanted to include a photo here, so I Googled waterbottle dice and found a teacher who also uses them, over at Kids Count.  Shari has some math FREEBIES using dice as well.  Click on the link to check out her wonderful creativity.

As mentioned yesterday, some clever person has come up with a little dice INSIDE a larger dice. Woo hoo for creativity.  I'm sure they'll be a hit with your kiddo's.  You can get a pack of 8 for only \$2.28 from Pure Fun or \$2.69 from On The Fly Supply.

One of my favorite ways to review the numbers on a dice was with a "magic trick".  I'd use a big foam dice and choose a child.  They'd come up to the front of the class, look at the dice and choose a number they wanted to show the other children.

I reminded the class NOT to shout out the answer, or they'd ruin the trick.  Carefully, so they didn't reveal the face of the dice and the number to me, they'd keep it facing the class and hold it above their head.  I stood behind the child so I could see the number on the back of the dice.  I'd pretend to be "reading" their minds and then ask: "Are you looking at the number 3?"

I also had a dice and would show them that number.  To their utter amazement they were looking at that number!  "Do it again!  Do it again!" could be heard, as well as, "How did you do that?"  I did not reveal the answer to the trick 'til I was done using this as a number review game.  I told my students I'd let them know the answer, when everyone could recognize numbers 1 to 6, then they could practice and do the trick for their families.

One of the parents of my Y5's told me at conferences that her son Garret couldn't wait to find out.  She asked about the trick, so  I showed her and shared the secret.  Karen taught high school math and wondered how she could do it with her students.  I told her to use it as a math problem.  Demonstrate the trick and then have students try and figure out how it was mathematically done.  She reported back that it was a HUGE success, and has used it every year!

The secret?  The front and back numbers of a dice, when added together, will always-equal 7, so if you are looking at the number 5, your students will be looking at the number 2.  Cool huh?   I hope you have as much fun with this as I do.

I found this photo of a tot with a jumbo dice and thought that would be a really fun size for this activity.  Even after searching, I could not find a source to buy just one jumbo dice.  I found really humongous "cheese" ones with green dots (Go Packers!), but nothing this size.  Anyone out there know?  You can leave a comment here, or shoot me an e-mail: diane@teachwithme.com

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## Teaching Common Core Standards With A Craft

From Seeds To Pumpkin Pie -- Life Cycle Craftivity

I LOVE teaching hands-on "craftivities." They are wonderful vehicles that get students motivated and excited to learn.

They involve a multitude of senses as I incorporate all sorts of skills, report card standards and subjects.

From Seeds To Pumpkin Pie is an example of how I do this.

The front of the pumpkin reviews all of the basic shapes, including the hexagon, as students design their Jack-O-Lantern. (K.G.2)

Students can draw them on their orange circle or give them an assortment of the various shapes, by pre-cutting them out of black construction paper.  I would opt for the latter with Y5’s or younger.

I’ve found that little ones are often frustrated with reproducing shapes, particularly triangles, so they make a dot here and there and put a smile on their pumpkin face, which defeats the purpose of the lesson.

This way you’ll  get all sorts of unique Jack-O-Lanterns with hexagons, ovals, triangles etc.

Things are also done in a short amount of time, yet students are still getting a good fine motor skill work out.

Listening and  following directions is imperative to assembling their project, which can be whole-group assessed.

The back of the pumpkin converts into a pie and is divided into quarters and shows the life cycle, so you’ll be teaching science.

A cycle is done in a specific order, so you can review ordinal numbers as well. i.e., first we plant seeds, second we’ll see a sprout, third the yellow flower will appear etc.

The picture is divided into 1/4ths so it’s perfect to introduce or review fractions (Common Core math standard1.G.3) with first graders.

That’s specifically why I added the 2 skill sheets with the pumpkin pie and stem activities, so 1st grade students can work on partitioning circles (pumpkin pies) and rectangles (pumpkin stems) into two and four equal shares; describing the shares using the words halves, fourths & quarters. (1.G.3)

I hope your little “punkins”  enjoy this hands-on craftivity, while they’re learning Common Core.

Their self-esteem will be built as they see their work dangling from the ceiling in the hallway too.  What a treat!

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