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Dice - Your Best Math Manipulative

Compiled By: shotime Bookmark and Share
One math manipulative that we all tend to have in our classroom is dice. This little cubed figure is our best friend when it comes to teaching multiple math concepts. Here are some ideas that I have used teaching and ideas that I have found from other great teachers on this website:)
Number Concepts:
Posted by:shotime #140839

Roll the dice what number comes after, before ?
What number is ten more, ten less
Skip count by using two hundreds chart if needed
Read and write the numbers
What is another way to show the number using picture’s
Select a number and roll the dice to see if you can meet that target number
Is the number even or odd
Roll the dice add, subtract, multiply, and divide
What is another equation that you can write for the number rolled

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math facts
Posted by:Joan #46352

Asking parents to use flashcards at home to help their children master the facts is probably useless, as it will be drudgery for both parent and child. I know some students have been helped by those multiplication table songs. Perhaps you could send a tape (cheap to make a copy) home with a child and ask parents to see that he listens to it nightly. I teach fifth grade and have found that games are best for those who have trouble memorizing facts. There are many games using playing cards and dice. Here are a few I use:

#1-This is played by two people with a deck of cards with the jokers and face cards removed (or jack = 11 and queen = 12). Shuffle the deck and deal them all out face down. Each player flips over a card from his or her pile. The...

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Math games
Posted by:Ally #62893

I use cards to play math games like the above poster and dice too...for example, Two Dice Addition...Three Dice Addition...Two Dice Subtraction...then add a third die and make it add two then subtract the third (I make grids the kids fill in to "win" so the dice games have an end to them) Once these games get too easy, I add those many sided dice so they can try again with larger numbers.

You could try the "Box Cars and One Eyed Jackas" books...they have a ton of math games that reinforce math facts. My students find playing games much more enjoyable than only drills...of course there are the kids that LOVE drill practice too. I do a variation of that is called "Random Numbers"...I have a column of ten boxes and then give the students...

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math game for addition
Posted by:math game for addition #94353

My kids love this game. It not only helps them practice their basic addition facts, but also practice addition of two digit numbers.

I write the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 on colored plastic squares that came with our math kit. (You can also use blank white ceramic tiles or laminated paper squares). Kids can play the game in pairs or groups of three. Have the kids lay the squared down in order with the numbers showing. The first player rolls a pair of dice and then figures out the numbers they can turn over using the sum of the dice. For example: If the total of the dice is 8, the child can turn over an 8, 5 and 3, 6 and 2, or 1 and 7.
The child continues to toss the dice and turn over numbers until he/she can not turn over any more numbers. The child...

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Posted by:Mary #60908

You can use dice in many ways for Math.

3rd grade- you can have the children roll two dice to come up with multiplication facts.

K-1- same idea but addition or subtraction facts.

1st grade- Use them in combo with the base ten blocks. The children roll one die. Each time they roll, they take the same amount of cubes as is on the die. Once they reach ten, they trade them in for a long...and so on.

Hope these help............the list can go on and on!

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Math Game ideas for Gr.2 (adaptable for other grades)
Posted by:Natalie #37655

Hi Sue,
I was in a grade 2 class and the teacher is amazing and had lots of really cool games.
1) First to 200 wins!(You can change the value with whatever place value you want) Using dice and base 10 sticks (or 100 etc), students can work in pairs on the carpet. Have large (11 x 17)contruction paper mats divided into ones, tens, hundreds. Each student rolls a die and puts that many of base 10 (or ones or hundreds) in the tens column. They need to keep track of their score.
2) Prbability: Have some photocopied sheets with pictures of each side of a die at the top. Students roll and keep track of how many times they roll each number. You could say whoever rolls 4 the most wins (or select a different number each time).
3)Use decks of cards and play Highest card...

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Math Fact Families
Posted by:Marilyn #85815

I have my second grade students do the following activity for fact families.

A Fact Family Booklet

Materials: for one page of the booklet

I cut ahead of time circles (any color) with a diameter of 3 inches -enough that each student has three circles, a white triangle 6 ins. X 6 ins. X 9 ins.-one per student and half of a regular piece of construction paper (any color).
You will also need two dice per student.

You will need to multiply the materials depending on how many pages you do in the booklet.


Have the student roll the dice. Put one of the numbers on one circle, put the other number on a second circle, and the sum on a third circle. These circles are then glued to the points of the triangle. On the inside of the triangle the students write the...

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tactile math
Posted by:Room 207 #70097

Back at ya! Try dice, eventhough it is not pc, kids love dice. For multiplication roll 2, and multiply. On a 10X10 piece of graph paper color in an array that matches. If you roll 3X4 color in a rectangle that measures 3 across and 4 down. Take turns rolling and coloring until your grid is full. I bought big foam dice to use when I am modeling a game, and also a flashing die from Scholastic, when it stops flashing...time is up for your answer. They even have glow in the dark for gloomy dark room days.
Try anything Marilyn Burns does. She even has some lessons that involve food.

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Posted by:trexteach #133007

If permitted, you could purchase some blank dice, or larger cubes, and put various math facts, fractions, percents, etc. on each side. You can come up with a variety of directions for use.

For example:
*On fraction dice, you could give the direction that two players each roll one die. Whoever has the larger fraction wins a point.
*On the same fraction dice, you could have each player roll two dice and add/subtract/multiply them to get their score for that round.

There are SO many games you can make out of these cubes. IF you cannot buy them, you could make them out of laminated construction paper.

You could even include that you're going to differentiate by passing out leveled dice. Ex. Green dice=easier facts; Yellow dice=average difficulty; Red dice=harder/more challenging facts.

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Measurement and Temperature
Posted by:shotime #141451

Dice can be used to work on elapsed time and temperature.
Roll the dice and write, draw what the time would be in five minutes, in 30 minutes, 60 minutes. What ever best fits the needs of your students.
Depeding on the type of dice you have (red could be hour) green minute and write the time. You may need to be creative to cover all the times on the clock.
In regards to temperature, roll the dice and locate it on the thermometer. What activity would you be able to do with that temperature, what would you wear? They could either state it or draw pictures.

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No title
Posted by:Kermit #131705

Have boxes drawn onto paper. Have one box for 1/4, 1/2, 1/8 etc. Then, they roll the dice and fill in the box they have rolled. The first person to get a black out wins (whole paper filled in.)

If you have little fraction pieces already cut out or made of plastic (pizza slices?) they can roll and draw the corresponding piece. The kids have to make 1 whole with the pieces they drew.

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fun game for place value
Posted by:stacey #62821

This week I have been teaching place value to my third grade students. They played a game called Race to a Thousand and had a blast. It goes something like this.... I divided them up in groups of six, but you can do 2 to however many you are comfortable with. They each need a place value mat (which my students made themselves) up to the thousands place. Each group needs 2 dice and ones, tens, and hundred blocks. Each student takes turns rolling the dice and choosing the number they wish to create from the 2 dice. For example, if they roll a 4 and a 2, they would want to make it 24 or 42, but since the object is to get to a 1000 first, they choose the larger #, then display that # on their mat, record the answer on the back of the mat and continue with the next person. When it is the same...

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cards or dice
Posted by:tia #111115

have them get in pairs (opponents)
they should flip over one card or roll one die (that's the denominator)
then they should each flip over a card in their own stacks or their own dice--those are the numerators
whoever adds them together to get the simplified/reduced answer first, earns a point.

to subtract, have them determine which fraction is the larger and then subtract the other one from it.

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Posted by:shotime #141471

Determine what dice will be the numerator and the denominator. Have students write the fraction and then draw a picture to represent their roll.

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Fractions Part 2
Posted by:shotime #141473

Students could roll the dice and write that fraction and then roll the dice again and record that fraction. They could then determine what was the common denominator.
Based on the roll they could add, subtract, multiply or divide the fraction.
They could show another equivalent fraction based on their roll.
Create word problems for their classmates to solve based on the roll.

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Probability Idea
Posted by:Miss K #89022

I just did a center using Probability. I had the kids roll a die 50 times and tally how many times each number came up. I made a chart for them to fill in and then answer some questions about their results.

I also made a two row chart and had them roll a die 11 times. They recorded their numbers in the first row as they came up, and then in numerical order in the second row.

They had to show the Median, Mode and Range for the numbers. (I gave them the definitons for them).

They seem to really like the center.

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Graphing and Probability
Posted by:shotime #141486

As a teacher determine how times you want the students to roll the dice. Then have students record their results and possibly explain why or what they noticed based on the graph. For example did they roll more even or odd numbers.. why do they think that happened? What else does this remind you of that we have learned in math so far?

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