Happy October everyone! I just love how the weather here in central California is beginning to crisp up just a touch (I’ll take what I can get!) on the coast and the fact that I get to dust off those scented fall candles! There’s something special about the arrival of fall, especially for me, since it marks the kickoff to the holiday season starting with Halloween and working its way through Thanksgiving and ending at Christmastime. I’ve also been enjoying these new holiday traditions my husband and I are doing for our son, who will be celebrating his first holidays this year! Last year I was pregnant during this time of year so it’s extra special to share these memories with.
**If you’d like to follow along with our #verydanielhalloween and are interested in celebrating your own family traditions be sure to jump on over to my lifestyle blog where I share all about it!
But, nonetheless the fun doesn’t stop at home. I’ve always loved setting up and organizing my thematic units that play right along with the seasons and today I have a brand new download to share with you all and how dice have changed the math game in my class.
I will always, and highly, recommend foam dice for any teacher regardless of the grade you teach. It doesn’t matter if you’re in fifth grade or kindergarten - dice just have a way of being loud and end up all over the place. Using foam dice is the easiest way to crack down on those issues and provide instant classroom management - and I have yet to misplace any of them!
Dice have been such a fun addition to my math block ever since I started incorporating them into my lessons during independent or guided practice. It’s an instant engager and keeps those kids busy while learning! The Turkey Trot mini-unit uses dice to do this same thing by having students play a game while practicing their abilities to recognize even and odd numbers! Let’s take a look...
Race To The Top: This game is especially easy for kids to play and requires very little planning on your part. Just print off as many game boards as your class needs and laminate! I recommend using thick laminate sheets because it will allow you to use them year after year.
How To Play
Students will work in pairs with one student as evens and the other as odds. They will flip back and forth rolling the dice and identifying whether the number they rolled is even or odd. For example, if I were evens and I rolled the number 2 I get to move my marker (any manipulative) one spot on the game board. However, if I rolled a 3 (which is odd) I'll pass my dice to my partner without making a move. Repeat this over and over until a student reaches the top!
**Challenge students by having them use 2 dice and determine if the sum is even or odd!
Number Crunchers: This is another easy dice game to play! Again, students will work in pairs and decide whether they are evens or odds. When it’s their turn, a student will roll the dice and if that number is even or odd they’ll use their game pieces (can use any manipulative) to cover that number. The student with all of their even or odd numbers marked is the winner! Students play with up to 2 dice and can determine for themselves if they want to roll one or both die to reach their desired number.
**For example: If I were evens and the only even number left on my board was 12 I would HAVE to roll both dice to reach that number. This game starts off easy but becomes more challenging as the numbers left to cover become harder to reach.
I’ve also included a few handouts that can be incorporated into your lessons as review or even morning work practice pages! I love getting kids to use their hands to represent their learning and the Turkey Math Trouble page (at the bottom) has students use hole punchers to represent their number! Nifty huh?!