Friday, April 20, 2012

Rolling Into Literacy Skills

I LOVE to play board games at home, but I also enjoying using them in my classroom. In addition to encouraging cooperation, turn taking and a variety of other social skills, I find I can often use the games to work on math and literacy skills. So, every Friday, I am going to post a Friday Game Night post, giving tips on how to use a particular board game in your classroom. Here’s this week’s Friday Game Night Tip:

Dice – Part 2 (Literacy)

After two weeks of looking at playing cards, I decided to try one more cheap “board game” – dice! Just like cards, dice can be used in so many ways to increase both math and literacy. Here are some ideas on how to use dice with math. Check back next week for some literacy ideas.

For all of these ideas, you can use regular six sided die, or specialized die with more or less sides. Specialized die make it much easier when working with bigger numbers and older students.

1.) Roll a Word – Get students thinking by rolling up a word. Decide on a characteristic of a word (number of letters, number of consonants, number of vowels, number of syllables). Have students each roll a die and than share on a word that fits into the characteristics. ie. If you roll a six during the number of consonant round. you must come up with a word that has six consonants in it. This is great for building critical thinking and sharing vocabulary.

2.) Number Stories – Have students roll 3 or 4 dice and use them within their writing. For example, if they roll a 4, a 2 and a 1 – they must use those numbers in their writing. An example might be a story about 2 girls with 4 shoes and 1 pet.

3.) How Many Facts? – Do you want students to come up with a list of facts about a specific topic or category? Ask your students to roll a die (or two), and give them a topic or question. Then students will use the number on the die to know how many facts to give. ie. Ask students “What is the name of some animals that live in the rainforest?” Each student rolls a die to determine how many animals they have to come up with – rolling a six means coming up with six rainforest

4.) How Many Repetitions? – Get students to practice writing their spelling words with dice. For each spelling word – students will roll a die (or two). The number they roll will tell them how many times they must copy their spelling word. ie. If you roll a 4 for the word said – you will write: said, said, said, said

I hope some of these suggestions will help you use dice to teach math in a new and interesting way. Click HERE for more suggestions on how to use board games in the classroom.


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