Our school board has a “numeracy framework” from Grades 1 to 8, which sets out the order in which the various math units and strands are taught, and also indicates which lessons from our core resource (Nelson Math) can be used, as well as additional resources such as the Ontario Guides to Instruction in Mathematics, Super Source lessons, etc. At the moment all grades are working on the first Number Sense strand, which focuses on counting, the “how muchness” of a number, and representing numbers in a variety of ways.
Today I worked in a Grade 3/4 classroom, introducing the game Roll & Risk. This game reviews regrouping 2 digit numbers using dice and Base 10 blocks in an engaging manner. After creating a two-digit target number by rolling a die twice (first roll for the tens digit; second roll for the ones), pairs of students work towards rolling the die and adding the appropriate number of Base 10 blocks, getting as close to their target number as possible without going over. Each roll can be taken as either a tens or ones. For example, with a target number of 43, and a first roll of 5, students will have to decide if they should take 5 tens or 5 ones. They soon realize that taking 5 tens will immediately push them over their target number of 43, so take it as 5 ones, and continue rolling, regrouping ones as tens when necessary. As they get closer and closer to their target number, they must decide when they should stop rolling. After a couple of rounds of the game students realize that once their within 6 numbers of their target number, it is getting risky to roll again.
The classroom was humming as the students discussed game strategies with their partners, and when I walked around with guiding questions, I could see that they were understanding not only the regrouping that was being reviewed from a previous year, but also the probability concepts necessary to success for this game. When students got off track (one pair had a target number of 99 which I naturally questioned), it took only a quiet question or two to get them back on track (ie. “What is the largest possible number you can roll on one die?”).
I can’t take credit for the creation of the game; it was developed as part of the Ontario Ministry of Education’s “Edugains” site, and full lesson plans can be found at this link: Roll and Risk On the right you will see “Counting & Representation; if you scroll down under that title you will find “Base Ten – Game 1″ and Base Ten – Game 2”. Game 1 is for 2 digit numbers and Game 2 is for 3 digit numbers. The full game summary as well as the recording sheet can be found by clicking on “Printable Documents” over Counting & Representation.
I’ve also created a Smart Notebook resource to introduce both versions of the game. Students love coming up and rolling the interactive dice, and the cloned Base 10 blocks make it easy for students to understand the regrouping that is part of the game.
Tomorrow I’ll be doing a similar game, only with subtraction, with a Grade 6 class. Have a great day!