I am not a huge fan of dice in my classroom because they cause so much noise in addition to the students’ excitement and the dice somehow mysteriously disappear. After testing I needed some high interest activities that would keep the students engaged for about 2 hours.
I remembered that I bought the dice activity book, but like most teachers had not used it yet because of various reasons. I was kind of hesitant about using the activities with my homeroom class because they are noisy without playing games. Well, I decided to go against my gut and try the activities anyway. I was pleasantly surprised that the multiplication practice game kept the students engaged for about an hour and half before my first student raised her hand to say the famous phrase ” I’m bored”.
There are several dice activities in the book that the students can play, but the one that I liked the most is the Table Completion Charts. At first glance it seemed like just an ordinary multiplication sheet, but once the students began to play the game I realized that it reinforced other sub-skills such as:
- addition fluency
- identifying numbers (pictorially)
- repeated addition
As I walked around the classroom I was amazed at how some of the students, even though they were 4th graders, could not automatically identify the numbers from the dice. Every time my ESL student rolled the dice she would have to pick up the dice and count the dots before she could multiply.
My attitude about dice has changed because I realized how they can reinforce certain skills from previous grade levels that the students have forgotten. It also didn’t hurt that I used foam dice instead of real dice. You know, a funny thing happened the students returned all the dice!