Thursday, September 27, 2012

On a Roll with Dice Games!

I had a fabulous day with my kindergarten PLC (professional learning community) on Monday. Our topic was math games for developing early numeracy skills. One teacher in our group did a wonderful job of collecting and sharing a wealth of dice games. I was eager to return to my classroom and try them out, and my students absolutely loved the first two games! I have created SMART Notebook files for the games as well as actual game boards.

Tug of War
To create paper game boards: cut a long strip of heavy construction paper. Place a large sticker in the middle, and equally spaced smaller stickers on each side (as many as you like depending on students/skills being practiced, but use at least 5 on each side). Students play in pairs, with each student sitting at one end of the game board. Depending on the age of the students/skills you are working on, you can use 6, 8, or 10 sided dice or spinners. An object is placed in the middle of the game board on the larger sticker. The first player rolls/spins, and moves the object that many spaces towards him/her. The second player rolls/spins, and moves the object that many spaces back towards him or her. Play continues until one player has the object right in front of him/her on the closest sticker. My rule is that to win, students must roll the exact number of spaces they need.

In my classroom, we first watched a YouTube video showing a tug of war, as my five year-olds weren't certain about what a tug of war looked like. Next, we played this game on the SMART Board (see files below), with the teacher and special helper playing against the rest of the class. I have included two versions of the game board. More spaces could be added on each side, and a 10 sided-die could be used from the gallery in SMART Notebook.

Once students were confident playing the game, we played in partners using our paper game boards. Lastly, we skyped our partner class and taught them the game. We challenged them to a tug of war, using SMART Bridgit for interactive play.

Tug of War SMART Notebook File

Tug of War Game Board 2 SMART Notebook File

Race to Trace
This game focuses on rolling a die and identifying the dot pattern or number, then correctly tracing that number. The first player to have all of his/her numbers traced wins. If the student rolls a number that has already been traced, I decided that he/she would choose a different colour and re-trace the number (creating a "rainbow" number, for additional practice). The happy faces indicate where the student should start printing the number. I have cloned this game board, and if you select dual page view in SMART Notebook, you will have two game boards side by side. The special helper and I played against the rest of the kindergarten class. Then, I printed out copies of the game boards and the students played against each other. This was another popular game, and a great way to practice correct number formation as well as identifying dot patterns on a die.

My plan is to introduce two new games per day until we have 6 games that we can play. These games will then become math centres, enabling me to work with small groups of students while the rest are engaged and having fun with these dice games.
Race to Trace SMART Notebook File

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