Reflections and Resources from Tarheelstate Teacher: Roll and Multiply Free Dice Game for Multiplying Whole Numbers
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Roll and Multiply Free Dice Game for Multiplying Whole Numbers

Are your 4th or 5th grade students struggling with multiplying whole numbers and leaving you wracking your brain trying to figure out how to respond? Or, are you realizing that differentiating your multiplication practice is a must because students are all over the place in their mastery?
Read on for a look at the 4th and 5th grade leveled continuum for multiplication concepts, a free multiplication dice game, and other ideas for differentiation during your multiplication unit.
Well, I've got a "differentiation ready," easy to implement, print and go game for you today that you can use during whole group, math stations, or guided math groups. Your students can play independently or with a partner--or both! You've got a million ways to incorporate this game into your plans!

This game uses a scaffolded and differentiated learning continuum for multiplication that I wish I had understood sooner in my teaching career.

If you read my last blog post, I shared how I see math concepts on a continuum of learning along with 5 differentiated activities to use during your multiplication unit. Here's how I outline the levels of skills for multiplying whole numbers:

Read on for a look at the 4th and 5th grade leveled continuum for multiplication concepts, a free multiplication dice game, and other ideas for differentiation during your multiplication unit.
We should move students from multiplying 2 digit by 1 digit to 3 digit by 1 digit to 4 digit by 1 digit, then move them to 2 digit by 2 digit and 3 digit by 2 digit. (If you are working with decimals, you can build students up using this same continuum and size of factors.)

Is this continuum obvious? Is this something you already realize? Is this already how you structure your multiplication of whole numbers lessons and student practice AND how you plan for differentiation? If so, I'm impressed! I wish you had been my mentor teacher so you could have guided me to this understanding sooner.

For those of us who did not have this scaffolded continuum handed to us, can you see how this continuum applies to levels of readiness? Not all students are ready at the same time and I'm a big believer in meeting students where they are--FINALLY, by thinking about my curriculum on a leveled continuum, I understand how to meet students where they are.

But, moving on, you're probably here for the multiplication dice game, so let's get to it! I've incorporated this scaffolding into the dice game I'm sharing with you today. If you want the game sent to you, just throw your info into the boxes below.


MATERIALS NEEDED 


YOUR CHOICE OF GAME BOARDS:

Choose from the templates for the area model or the standard algorithm.
Differentiate by assigning students to the leveled game board that matches their ability OR the next level of multiplication that they are trying to master. You have boards for:
  • 2 Digit by 1 Digit
  • 3 Digit by 1 Digit
  • 4 Digit by 1 Digit
  • 2 Digit by 2 Digit
  • 3 Digit by 2 Digit
DICE:

6-sided dice will work for this game, but if you have access to 10-sided dice, students will be able to create multiplication problems with all numerals.

6-sided dice may also be used as a modification for students that need you to limit the challenging multiplication facts for them (since this dice will not require them to multiply by 7, 8, or 9. You can always move them up to the 10-sided dice later)

DECIDE ON THE FORMAT FOR THE GAME:


These “Roll and Multiply” game boards can be used with partners AND as independent practice activities—again and again! Each time you move students to the next level, you can have them play with a partner, then move the game into independent practice.

Students can be given calculators to check their work since there are numerous combinations of multiplication problems that they can create.

INCREASE THE CRITICAL THINKING/ STRATEGY USED IN THE GAMES:

You may set up the game two ways:

1) Students must create the multiplication problem in the order that numbers are rolled on the dice. In this set-up, the winning product will be based on luck.

Read on for a look at the 4th and 5th grade leveled continuum for multiplication concepts, a free multiplication dice game, and other ideas for differentiation during your multiplication unit.2) Students decide where to place numerals as they roll them. This will allow students to develop strategies for having the highest product (example—if I roll a nine, I should place it in the highest place value that is available).

When playing with a partner, students can earn points (win the round) by rolling the highest product. The area model template has a place for students to note the winner. For the standard algorithm game boards, you can have them tally their score on a t-chart.

MODIFYING THE GAME EVEN MORE: 


One last way to help students who are really struggling with mastering multiplication (using any model) is to peel back the layers of difficulty even more. These students will benefit from a reduction of the multiplication facts they are expected to recall.
Read on for a look at the 4th and 5th grade leveled continuum for multiplication concepts, a free multiplication dice game, and other ideas for differentiation during your multiplication unit.

You can do this for them by setting up their game so that they only multiply by 2’s or 5’s. (I've given you a few of these modified game boards in your download!)

Multiplying by 2's and 5's is a great scaffold because these are the easiest multiplication facts to memorize or count-by on fingers in my opinion.

Students can still roll the dice for the other factor, but by reducing the multiplication facts they must recall, you have freed up some brain space for learning the process of multiplying larger numbers. In your free download, I've included area model and standard algorithm game boards for multiplying 2 digit by 1 digits with just 2's and 5's, but you can write in 2's and 5's on any of the other game boards or multiplication activity you have.

I hope you LOVE using this game in your classroom for multiplication practice and differentiation. You can plan to use the game boards again and again so that you can increase students’ level of mastery and the rigor of the game each time!

Other Differentiated Resources for Multiplication of Whole Numbers that You May Like:

> > > Differentiated Multiplication Assessments and Practice Sheets (3 Levels with 3 Version each--perfect for pre-assessment, small groups, independent practice, review, and post-assessment)
> > > Multiplication Word Problems (in the same set as above)
> > > What's My Error? Error Analysis Task Cards for the Area Model (5 Levels)

This Multiplication Exploration can provide your students with more opportunities for critical thinking about how the factors affect and the magnitude of the products.

If you are sold on differentiating your math instruction based on a leveled continuum, I highly recommend checking out my differentiated assessments and practice sheets. 4th Grade sets are completed for every standard in the curriculum and more 5th grade assessments are on their way.
 Differentiated Math Assessments

You can find the 4th Grade Assessments here in my tpt store or by clicking the photo above.

You can find the 5th Grade Assessments here in my tpt store.



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