Sarah H. recently posted a photo of some items she got from a colleague, mostly large foam dice. She asked how she can use the dice in her trig class. I thought that was a great question and I decided to write about several ways I use dice in my class.
1. Teaching probability. Duh.
2. Using this game board. I can turn a set of questions into a deck of cards and students can play the game. Everyone in the group does the problem individually, they discuss as a group, anyone with a correct answer rolls. I'm always amazed at how much more willing kids are to do the same work when I disguise it as a game. There are 4 versions of the board in this file: with or without directions and either in color or black and white.
3. Assign meaning to each side of the die by typing up a key. Students roll the dice and do the associated action. Examples: operations on polynomials (add, subtract, multiply, divide, classify, factor, etc), trig functions (sin, cos, tan, sec, csc, cot). Here's one I used for quadratic functions that uses 6- and 12-sided dice (though you can easily change it so as not to need 12-sided dice). Thanks to my best friend for a donation of cool dice from her Dungeons and Dragons days.
4. This one is still not classroom-tested, so proceed carefully. I tested it at home and I think it's a green light. Mailing labels (like Avery 5160) are able to stick to the foam dice I bought at Dollar Tree and also unstick neatly. That means I could write questions, equations, terms, etc. and print them on labels to stick to the dice. At the end of the activity, I can remove the labels (possibly stick them back on the sheet for next year) and reuse the dice for a later activity.
5. As a French teacher, I've made a class set of subject pronoun dice by taking a Sharpie to some foam dice. These big dice (roughly 2.5") are in two-packs at Dollar Tree. I've seen red, blue, black, and yellow.
Do you use dice in your classroom? How?