Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Dice Games

Cube, Six, Gambling, Play, Lucky Dice  Since it is almost the end of the year, I continue to search for games my students can play once the last few days of school when we have to turn in all the electronic devices.

In my hunt, I found this webpage which has games that work for high school students.  The first dice game  that caught my eye is called number sense call out.  The teacher rolls two dice either using dice on the Smartboard or using real dice and then asks questions about the results.  The site suggests several questions such as write the sum of the dice in words.  This could easily be adjusted to creating a verbal sentence using the two numbers and a variable to create an algebraic equation.

The other game that could easily be adjusted for high school students is the array multiplication. The original game has students roll two dice, then draw a multiplication array on graph paper.  I can see taking this a step farther by rolling two dice such as 3, 4 becoming 3x + 4 and rolling a second time to create the second binomial.  The students could easily practice multiplying binomials using a graph paper.

I've used dice in my classroom with my pre-algebra class for practicing basic operations using integers.  For instance, I've rolled two dice on  a paper divided into quadrants, each designated as positive or negative.  Then using those two numbers and an operation, my students try to find the answer.  If you use four dice, you can create fractions that could be added, subtracted, divided, or multiplied.  Its all up to your imagination.

This 20 page pfd which has math games for middle school and filled with everything you need for seven games but one is particularly interesting as it uses special dice.  The game is FractWards which uses special dice to create fractions which are added together to determine the next move on the game board.  I like the way everything for this game is included including the netting for the special dice and the game board.  The directions are clear and this looks like a good game that could be used to help students become more comfortable with fractions.

I have so many students who struggle with math because they need additional work in their knowledge of mathematics as they pass from grade to grade until they hit high school where they either fail or struggle with the demands.  I need these games for those students who are weak with the basics and starting high school in Algebra I because Pre-Algebra is no longer being offered.  I am hoping that using these games will provide the scaffolding needed to help students gain the needed foundation.