## 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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"I am learning all of the time.  My tombstone will be my diploma." -Eartha Kitt

## 7 Pumpkin Games

1-2-3 Come Play Some Pumpkin Games With Me!

Games are a wonderful way for students to practice important life skills.  They are also a quick & easy way to grab and hold children's interest, while they review and reinforce a variety of standards.   One of my little ones summed it up: "We didn't even know we was learnin' cuz we was havin' so much fun!"

Because subitizing (being able to "know" how many there are, without counting) is extremely important; playing with dominoes and dice, are a great way to help students recognize these groupings at a glance.  Before too long, I could flash 6 dots (in the pattern on a dice/domino) and my students would call out the number 6, without having to stop and count the dots.

Keeping this in mind, I designed 6 pumpkin-themed dice games + a listening and following direction activity, that will help review ordinal numbers. They are all in one Pumpkin Games packet.  To view/download it, click on the link.  Because the rules are pretty much the same, students feel empowered, as they know what to do, and can get down to business, and you aren't using up valuable minutes explaining things for the umpteenth time.

Because the apple basket counting game, was a popular download, I decided to revisit that concept using pumpkins.  Print off the farmer's wagon on brown construction paper, laminate and trim.  Do the same thing with the pumpkin tile master.  Have each child take 20 pumpkin tiles, (or to expedite things, have 20 pre-counted and put in Snack Baggies. After children have played the game, to make sure that they have 20 pumpkins, have students count them one at a time into their bag.) This is great counting practice for little ones, and also ensures that you don't have incomplete games, because pumpkins fell on the floor.

Children choose a partner and share the wagon.  The object of the game is to get all of your pumpkins into the wagon, by taking turns rolling the dice.  Whatever number a child rolls, is how many pumpkins they pick up from their pile and place in the wagon.  You can make the game more difficult, by having students roll an exact number towards the end of the game.  i.e. if they have only 1 pumpkin left, they need to roll a one.

In the game "Roll and Color," children roll a dice.  Whatever number they roll, is the matching numbered section on their pumpkin, that they color.  The first child with a completly colored-in pumpkin is the winner.

"Roll and Draw" works with the same rules, only children draw a shape on their pumpkin to make a Jack-O-Lantern.  This is a great opportunity to review a square, triangle, circle and rectangle, and possibly introduce the crescent shape as well.

Because 5 Little Pumpkins Sitting On a Gate, is such a popular rhyme/story in October, I thought it would be fun to follow it up with a game.  To conserve paper, you can print, laminate and trim the gates.  If copying is not an issue for your school, it's nice if each child can have their own "gate" so they can continue to practice at home.

Run off the pumpkin master.  Students color and cut out their pumpkins and place them on the gate.  When you are explaining the game, you have a great opportunity to review ordinal numbers as well.  Children take turns rolling a dice with their partner.  Whatever number they roll, they take the matching numbered pumpkin off the gate and have it go "rolling into the night..."  The first child who gets all of their pumpkins off the gate is the winner.

Pumpkins in a Row on a Roll is similar.  Children color the numbered pumpkin that matches the number that they roll.  I also made an ordinal number activity with this same template.  This is wonderful practice for listening and following directions too, as the teacher reads what (s)he wants students to do.

Finally, children trace the numbers and color their pumpkins as they take turns rolling the dice in Pumpkins On A Roll . Simply run off the template, trim and give each student a strip of pumpkins.  Click on the link to view/download the Pumpkin Games packet.

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## Apples On A Roll Dice Game

1-2-3 Come Play An Apple Game With Me!

When I design a game for my kiddo's, I try to involve a variety of standards, so that I'm really making great use of time.  Using dice to play games, helps students subitize (pretty soon they are able to recognize that 5 spots = the number five, without having to count the dots).

Besides subitizing, Apples On A Roll helps students with number recognition, putting together a puzzle, 1-to-1 correspondence, basic life skills of getting along with others, and waiting your turn etc.  By running off the apples on red, yellow and green construction paper, you can also review that science fact.

Print off the apple template on white construction paper, laminiate and trim; and then print out the apple "puzzle pieces" on the various colors, laminate and cut the individual numbered pieces.  I keep each puzzle in a separate Baggie, and then put all of the smaller Baggies into one large one.

Children choose a partner and take turns rolling the dice.  Whatever number they land on, they put that piece on their apple puzzle template.  The first one to complete their apple, or the one with the most pieces on their apple when the timer rings, is the winner.

If you'd like to throw in some addition practice, add black lines to make 6 more "slices".  Write in numbers 7-12.  Children now use a pair of dice and add numbers together, placing the higher numbered puzzle pieces on their apple.

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## Math Dice Games Part 3

Let's Keep Things Rolling! More Math Games With A Dice Theme

I made Dice Game Stuff to go with the addition, subtraction, greater & less than dice games featured in the last 2 articles.

Whenever I taught a concept to my Y5’s I liked to stick with a theme.

It kept things simple, organized and less complicated for them.

I also had everything I needed handy and things just seem to flow from one transition into the next.

I could also overlap the various subjects too.

Here are some things you can do with these items:

The Make your own dice is a nice home-school connection where students can practice their cutting skills, something for a sub folder, or that extra activity students can do when they’ve finished everything else.

Run it off on cardstock. Give students a jingle bell to glue inside for added fun.

The large red dice make perfect flashcards when young students are learning to identify groups with a number.

Print them off, laminate, cut them out and keep them with your calendar or story time “stuff”.

You can also punch a hole in one corner and put them on a split ring.

Run off the smaller copies for students to make a split ring flipbook as well.  You flash your large number and they flip through their little ones to see who can find it the fastest.

Run off the Smaller Red-Dot Dice, laminate and cut out and make Memory Match Concentration games. Students can match them dice to dice or dice to number.

Laminate the number and symbol cards as well.  These too, can be used as Memory Match games or have students make equations with them.

Students can roll real dice, make an equation with the laminated paper dice, and then write down the equation on a sheet of scratch paper.

Set the timer to ring after 5 minutes.  Students can play individually or with a partner.

The person with the most equations completed when the timer rings, is the winner.

The traceable number flashcards offer a nice way to review skip counting by 2’s, 3’s and 5’s.

I’m always looking for easy and interesting ways to plug that concept in, for a quick review my kiddo’s would think was fun, so they’d want to continue practicing.

I made covers for the traceable flashcards so they can be turned into Itty Bitty booklets.

Run off extra sets on different colors to make Memory Match Concentration games.  You can also play I Have; Who Has? with them as well.

I hope you enjoy getting things rolling with your little ones and they have fun with these activities.

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Thanks for visiting!

"Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint you can on it."  -Danny Kaye