Using Dice to Boost Math Learning

In LitART, we use actual dice (or multi-sided polyhedra as we like to say) so learners can  enjoy the tactile experience of physically rolling the dice but you can try a sample Litamatics Math activity using the virtual version of dice found below.

Grade 3-4:  Number Card Collector
Let’s play Card Collector.  Try to collect as many of the number cards as possible.  To collect a card you must create a true number sentence based on a dice roll.  For example, what number sentences could you make if you rolled a two and three?

Allow for responses.

You could create the addition sentence two plus three equals five and take the number five card.  Or you could create the subtraction sentence three minus two equals one and take the one card.  Or you could create the multiplication sentence two times three equals six and take the six card.

Take turns rolling, making sentences, and taking number cards until there are no cards left.  Remember, you may not be able to make a sentence that allows you to take a number card.  For example, if you roll a four and five and the only number card left is eight you are not able to create a sentence that allows you to take the card.

Before you start rolling the dice,  lay out the number cards face up.  It helps to put them into an array.  I prefer two rows of five.

       Create an array of number cards with the cards 0-9 facing up. 

       Observe students.  Assist as needed.

Decide who will go first.  The first player rolls two dice and makes a number sentence and takes a card.  Try it.

       Allow time.  Observe.  Provide support as needed. 

Continue taking turns rolling the dice, making sentences and taking cards until there are no cards left.  At that point each player counts the number of cards they have.  The player with the most cards wins the round.

Observe.  Provide support and clarification as needed. 

       Ask questions to encourage mathematical thinking and communication. 

We all want math learning to be fun, engaging, and effective.  Dice (or multi-sided polyhedra as we like to say) can be used successfully in grades K-8 to explore math concepts throughout the standards including Number and Algebraic Relationships, Number and Operations in Base Ten, Measurement, Geometry, Fractions, Data, Probability, Problem Solving, and more.  Litamatics Math includes dice (multi-sided polyhedra), tangrams, craft sticks, Unifix Cubes, and hundreds of other math manipulatives to engage learners in fun math activities connected to award winning books.