Friday, July 24, 2015

Math Dice Games

A long, long time ago I told you all how I had switched up my math program to better suit the needs of my students... or I started doing math groups.

Math groups worked wonderfully in my classroom for a few reasons 
1) I had a range of abilities in my students in math (which class wouldn't though?)
2) My students were fairly responsible (or at least I could make sure there was a few responsible students in each group and separate some of the ones that liked to fool around)
3) It allowed me to make myself more available for my students during math class
4) Students got to play 2 games every time we did math groups (which would end up being about 30 minutes of games)

When I wrote on the board that we would be doing math groups in math on any day they got excited.  
And I loved that.

What kept me from starting math groups was my fear of how long it would take to put together a decent amount of games.  
And to be honest... it took a bit of time.
I ended up using a report card writing day (well, just the afternoon) to get a good start on my games which helped a lot!

If you are at all interested in finding some dice games for your math class I'm going to provide you with some links to some free games and some suggestions for books that you can buy.
Anything to help a fellow teacher with setting this up!

** the games I have listed below are all ones that I used in my grade 5/6 class BUT many (like the books I list) have options for lower and higher grades OR they can be adapted for lower grades**

One center was always dice games and the other was either a card, board, or bingo game.

Before putting a new game in a center I ALWAYS spent 5-10 minutes at the beginning of that class to teach the class the game.  I would invite a small group to the front of the room and we would play it together.  As long as I had 1 student from each of my 4 math groups I could hope that even those who weren't paying attention during the demonstration could be taught it later.

So without further ado.. the games

My students LOVED the game SNAKE.
We often would play it as a whole class

I got a number of my games from a math dice game book that my coworker had
Here are some books that may not be the exact same one that I used but would likely provide you with great dice games as well:

The nice thing about the games from the books was that they were all very similar.  Teach them a few of them and they will quickly pick up on the others
AND they had range of difficulty levels.  Some of my students may have needed to practice their 3 times tables whereas others would be way beyond that and practicing their 12's.  These books have the same game for every ability level.  This was great because I would just set down a stack of them and tell them to pick the level that would be a challenge to them.  I trusted that they at least sometimes picked one that would be a challenge.

You can get Order of Operations Bowling free!
(also, clicking on that link brings you to a bunch of file folder games that you can check out)

Multiplication Yahtzee was also one that my students liked.  
It's free here!

If you want to support some teachers you can check out Teachers Pay Teachers for many more games
If you are cheap (like me) here is a link to a bunch of dice games on Teachers Pay Teachers that start with all the free ones

To help my games last I stuck them all in a page protector (I was making the games when the laminator was down).  The students knew they weren't to take the papers out of there and I don't think they ever did.  They held up quite well.
As a bonus I found that using white board markers on the page protectors was easier to erase than on laminated ones... I'm not sure why this is... maybe someone can fill me in.

Then I stuck them all in this handy accordion file.  I always pre picked the game that the students would play and took it out of here and just handed them the sheets and dice they would need.  I have a feeling that is I would have given them the folder to go through it would have ended up being a giant mess at the end of every math groups session.

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