Can you make practising the times tables fun? Yes, just give me three dice…
As I was surfing through the blogosphere last week I stumbled upon a fantastic blog post explaining a fun game that you can encourage the pupils to play to practice their times tables. The inventor of the game is Dan Finkel, the author of the fantastic math for love blog. You can view Dan’s original post here.
I have summarised the game which is called Damult Dice below:
The Rules: Each player takes turns rolling 3 dice. First to break 200 (or 500, etc.) wins. On your turn, you get to choose two dice to add together, then you multiply the sum by the final die. That’s your score for that turn.
Simple; no bells, no whistles. For example, I roll a 3, a 4, and a 6 on my turn. I could either do (3+4) times 6 for 42 points, OR (3+6) times 4 for 36 points, OR (4+6) times 3 for 30 points. I’ll take the 42 points.
I spent some time playing this with kids the other day and I saw that (1) it was genuinely fun, and (2) it gives you almost all the multiplication practice you could ask for. In fact, it gives even more, because the choice of which dice to add and which to multiply reveals some interesting structure of numbers. Seriously, get a kid hooked on this game, and it’s the equivalent of dozens or hundreds of times table practice sheets.
I look forward to trying this one out soon!