Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review Fun: How to Play the Dice Game

This great, low-prep, EASY review game was shared with me by my classroom neighbor. He heard about it from a friend at his last school. Who knows where this game has its roots?!

  • Game template file (Download it here) on SmartBoard
    • Medium Tech: Don't have SmartNotebook software? Go to express.smarttech.com
    • No/Low Tech: Use real dice and display the 1-6 choices & score on the board. 
  • Change #1-4 to be 4 topic "groups" that you want to review. Have questions to read aloud or display (task cards are great for this).
  • Students need to be in teams and have scrap paper/dry erase boards for their work.

One student from the 1st team comes up to the board and hits the dice to roll them. Their team may CHOOSE which number they want. (So if they roll a 1 and a 3, they can choose which category to answer a question from. The only time 6 is chosen is if they roll a double 6.) Teams continue to roll until they answer a question. I also make a double 5 the "special roll" where they can erase 2 points. 
I don't allow negative points, so there's no use for them to choose a 5 until another team has points.

Each correct answer earns their team 1 point. They work together to answer, and may only answer one time. If they are incorrect, I allow any other team to "steal" the point. 

The team with the most points wins. I keep score in the boxes at the bottom of the page. We usually play until a pre-determined time, so that the game doesn't take over an entire class period. 
Basically no prep. Works with any content.

Sometimes they'll avoid a certain category. If that happens, I replace an "overused" topic with the topic they're avoiding (for example, #1 might start out as absolute value, and end up half way through the game as direct/inverse variation). I've also been known to have a "random" category on one of the numbers to fill in what I think they need. 

I also want to make students individually accountable for their answers - in the future, I can see myself using Nearpod for them to send in their responses with work, like I do with BINGO. Sometimes the tech isn't always available on the fly, so I'd love any ideas for a low-tech way to collect their work without having to grade a bunch of messy papers. 


  1. David Grimes at South Point High School in North Carolina invented this game while he was student teaching. It has become a tradition for his students to play.

    1. I'm so glad to find out not only the origins of this game, but also that it's from a teacher I know! Such a great game for students - I'm glad it's making its way into more classrooms. :)