One of the games I learned from Jane Felling’s Power Play session at NCTM Baltimore was called “Rock and Roll.” This game, perfect for those few extra minutes, practices naming numbers, place value and comparing numbers. Players shake and roll out a given number of spotted dice before quickly arranging them to form the greatest number possible. (Notice there a space is deliberately left between the dice, separating the ones period from the thousands.) When a player has created the greatest number he places his hands on his head and shouts, “Rock and Roll!” Players then read their numbers aloud, with the first player to shout “Rock and Roll!” scoring 1 point (or was it 5?). The player with the larger of the two numbers also scores 1 point (or was it 5?).
This game is simple to differentiate! Variations include:
- Adjusting the number of dice to increase or decrease the values of the numbers.
- Arranging the dice to make the smallest number possible, or if playing with 3 players (because classes don’t only come in even numbers) a number that might be in between the other two numbers.
- Creating decimal numbers (with a space to separate the whole number from the decimal).
To formalize play, have students record their rolls and then write out the number in another form, such as word form, expanded form or expanded form with exponents (as my 5th grade advanced students did today).