Keeping students engaged in what they are learning is central to any successful lesson. When I started my Masters, I remember calculating in my head how many hours I was going to be teaching my students over the course of just one academic year.
180 x 5 hours = 900 hours
That is a lot of time to keep a 7 year old engaged!
Bringing Out My Inner Creativity
What I didn’t realize at the time is how fun it would be to get to think creatively of different ways to keep these young students engaged and still get all of the practice they need on new material.
As a board game lover myself, one of the key ways I like to do this is by adding a little chance (and sometimes luck) into their practice by letting them roll the dice a few times.
The Roll Determines What They Do
One way to do this is by assigning one strategy or activity to each number on the dice.
My favorite chance game to play is with multiplication. Students are given a multiplication question, roll the dice, and find the product using the strategy they roll.
- Repeated Addition
- Choice: Check with Repeated Subtraction
- Draw Groups and Make Tallies Inside
- Draw tallies and Circle Groups
- Make an Array
- Teacher’s Choice
My students did this game for their school assembly last year and did fantastic. Their preparation was even better, because they didn’t know what the dice would land on.
The Roll Determines What Numbers They Manipulate
There are lots of games in this category. I’m lucky enough to have 100s, 10s and 1s dice, so rolling to make numbers is pretty much obligatory.
Here’s a game I just made for my kids this week. Click to download.
Here is another game the kids played last week. Click to download.
Let the dice roll!