A Math Game for Reinforcing Computation Skills


* Educational Technology
* Mathematics
--Applied Math


* K-2
* 3-5
* 6-8
* 9-12

Brief Description

This dice-and-math game provides practice in a wide variety of math skills at all levels.


Students will

* follow the rules of the game.
* perform math operations.
* keep track of their scores.


dice, math, add, subtract, multiply, divide, practice, compute, computation

Materials Needed

* dice (two per student pair for the simple version of the game; for a more complex game, add more dice)
* index cards (optional)
* blank dice (optional)

Lesson Plan

This game can be adapted in many ways to reinforce simple or complex math. You will find instructions below for a simple version of the game (for basic math facts) and two adaptations (for more complex math). All versions of the game are best when used in small groups of two to four students; the larger the group, the less math practice each participant will get.

Simple Version of the Game
Assign an operation -- addition, subtraction, or multiplication -- to be performed in this game. Play continues as in the following example, in which addition is the operation of choice:

* Player 1 rolls the dice and adds the two numbers that appear. For example, rolling a 3 and a 5 results in a total of 8.
* Player 2 rolls the dice and adds the two numbers that appear. For example, a 2 and a 5 make a total of 7.
* Players 3 and 4 (if included) roll the dice and record their results.
* The player with the highest score in the round earns a point. In the example above, Player 1 had the higher score and earned a point.
* If two or more players roll the same high total, neither player earns a point.
* The game ends when time is up (the player with the most points wins) or when a player reaches a score of 10.

Simple Adaptations
You might adapt the simple game above in the following ways:

* Roll three dice (or more) instead of two and add to find a total.
* Roll three dice and add two numbers, then subtract the number on the third die.
* Roll two dice and add the numbers; keep that sum in mind as you re-roll the two dice and add the numbers. Multiply the first sum times the second sum.
* If you have access to blank dice/cubes, the game will not be confined to the numbers 1 to 6. Write numbers such as 1, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10 on one die and the numbers 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 on another.

More Complex Adaptations
Create a stack of at least 12 index cards. Write two math operations on each card. For example,

* + and X (addition and multiplication),
* + and / (addition and division), and
* X and / (multiplication and division).

Player 1 rolls two dice and performs the first operation on the card. Then Player 1 re-rolls one die and performs the second operation. For example, if Player 1 draws a card from the top of the stack that has the signs + and X on it, the player

* Rolls two dice. If the player rolls a 2 and a 5, she/he adds those two numbers to get 7.
* Then the player re-rolls one die and multiplies the sum from the first step by the number on the die. For example, if the third die comes up 4, the player multiplies 7 (the sum from step 1) times 4 for a total of 28.
* Player 2 takes a turn.
* The player with the higher total earns a point.
* Then Player 2 chooses a card from the stack to reveal the two operations the players will perform in the next round. The game continues�


After practicing basic math operations in the game, provide students with ten problems to solve that involve the same math skills practiced during the game. For example, students who played a 3-dice addition game might solve equations such as the following:
4 + 6 + 3 = __
4 + 3 + 6 = __
2 + 1 + 4 = __

Older students might solve algebraic equations that involve multiple operations, such as the following:
(4 + 6) � 3 = __
(4 + 6) X 3 = __
4 + (6 - 3) = __
4 + (6 X 3) = __

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins