Math at Home Math Access for Teachers
and Home Child Care Providers

CME Group Community Foundation



Roll & Record

Children will develop visual images for quantities up to 6 and begin to understand and apply basic concepts of probability using dice.

Content Area Standard Target
  • Data Analysis and Probability
  • Number and Operations
  • Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data
  • Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems
  • Understand and apply basic concepts of probability
  • Develop understanding of the relative position and magnitude of whole numbers and of ordinal and cardinal numbers and their connections
  • Connect number words and numerals to the quantities they represent, using various physical models and representations
  • Represent data using concrete objects, pictures and graphs
  • Count with understanding and recognize "how many" in sets of objects
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Obtain materials Obtain the Materials
  • Dice.  One die for each child in the group.
  • Recording Sheet.  The recording sheet should be a graph that has the title of the game at the top of the page, Roll & Record.  The graph should be 6 squares by 6 squares with the numbers 1 thru 6 under each column.  This is the recording sheet.
  • Pencils


Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Introduce the activity Introduce the Activity
  1. Show the students the dice that they will be using to play the game.  Pass the dice around and ask the children what they notice about the dice. 
  2. Introduce the game.  Explain that today they are going to play a game called Roll & Record. Each child will receive a die and a recording sheet.
  3. Explain the game by demonstrating the game to the class. Set yourself up in the same manner that you expect the children to set themselves up.  Say: “The first thing you are going to do is to roll the die.”  then actually roll your die. Please note that modeling appropriate dice rolling is important.  Emphasize that the roll is to be controlled and the die is to stay within his/her own space. Modeling and stating expectations helps to avoid wild dice rolling and children getting up and distracting others to fetch their die.
  4. Ask: “How many dots do you see?”  Say: “Three”  Ask: “Does everyone agree that I rolled a 3?”  Hold the die face up to the group and count the 3 dots.  Say: “1 – 2 – 3.  Three."  Say: Now I will write the number 3 in the column that says 3.” 
  5. Show the children how you find the 3 on the recording page and how you write the number 3 in the square above the 3.
  6. Play and Model several more rounds.  Ask children to “show everyone the correct way to roll the dice.”  Throughout, ask the children if they have any questions about the game.  Explain that the game is over when one of the columns is full (they have rolled one number 6 times).
Engage the children Engage the Children
  1. Distribute the game materials and have the children go to their seats to play the game.
  2. Observe the children as they play the game.  Ask yourself the following questions: "How do children figure out the number that they rolled?"  "Do they count the dots?"  "Do they just know the number by looking at the pattern of the dots on the dice?" "Are the children able to write their numbers accurately?"  "Are they “reading the room” to find the number that they are trying to write?"  Make note of reversals or difficulties and support those children by giving them additional instruction in forming their letters.
  3. Compare and Share findings.  Ask: “What was the number that you rolled the most times?”  Point out that they can find this information by looking on their recording sheet and seeing which number has a number written in every box, all the way to the top of the graph. Ask: “Which number has the lowest number of rolls?”   “How many 5s did you roll?”
  4. Ask the children to share what they did by holding up their recording sheets and telling the class their results.

Additional Extensions

  • You can change the name of this game to Racing Dice and have the children predict which number will win before they start playing the game.  When you change the name of the game on the recording sheet, it is good to also ask the question on the bottom of the chart so that the children remember their original prediction and don’t change their answer mid game.

"I predict that number ______________________ will win the game."

  • Play either game with 2 dice adding two numbers.  Start with Roll & Record so that the children become used to working with two dice.  The children will need to add the two numbers of the dice together and then find and write that number on the recording sheet.

When preparing the Racing Dice recording sheet, add 3 different predictions that the children fill out before they begin playing the game.

           I predict that number ______________________ will win the game.
           I predict that number ______________________ will come in 2nd.
           I predict that number ______________________ will lose.

I have the children play this game twice.  The first time, they chose random numbers as their winners and losers.  But after they’ve played once, have them go back and see what they notice about their recording sheet.  The probability of rolling numbers like 6 (5+1, 3+3, 4+2) is higher than rolling a number like 2 or 12.  Based on what they notice, have the children make new predictions for the 2nd game.

Encourage vocabulary Encourage Vocabulary
  • How many – The total or sum (e.g., "How many 2s did you roll?")
  • Most – Having the greatest quantity or number (e.g., "Which number did you roll the most times?")
  • More than – A value that is higher or greater in number (e.g., "Did you roll the number 3 more than you rolled the number 6?")
  • Predict – To guess what will happen next (e.g., "I predict that I will roll the number 4 the most times.")
  • Graph – A diagram that exhibits a relationship, often functional, between two sets of numbers as a set of points having coordinates determined by the relationship (e.g., "This graph represents the number of rolls each number received.")

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Make adaptations Make Adaptations

Supporting Children at Different Levels

Toddlers   Pre-K

Toddlers may:

  • Have difficulty forming their letters
  • Use crayons to color in the boxes above the number they rolled instead of writing in the number.
  • Need bigger dice to count the dots on each side.
Vertical line

Pre-K Children may:

  • Easily identify the numbers on the dice to the numbers on the graph
  • Be able to add numbers 1-10.

Home child care providers may:

  • Provide assistance in identifying, counting and forming letter.

  • Play the game with a small group of children to ensure that they are recording their results correctly.


Home child care providers may:

  • Increase the numbers on the recording sheet from 1 – 12 by adding a second die.
  • Change the concept of the game from counting the numbers to adding the numbers together.  Using 2 die, the children would add the two numbers together to come up with the number they would record.
  • Introduce the concept of probability by having the children predict which number they will roll the most times.


Books Books
  • It's Probably Penny by Loreen Leedy (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2007)
  • Let's Throw the Dice (Let's Move) by Heidi Linder (New York: Meyer & Meyer Verlag, 2003)
  • Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert (San Anselmo, CA: Sandpiper, 1992)
Music and movement Music and Movement
  • Using a big, foam dice (you can get these at Teacher stores), play a circle toss game called Name that Number.  Have the children gather around in a circle and simply toss the dice from one person to the next.  The person receiving the dice, has to name the number that is on the top of the dice when it is caught.  Or they can choose to display and tell any number on the dice.  After that person has identified the number and shown the group the pattern on the dice that matches the number, they throw it to another person.  You can make up various rules such as what happens if the die is dropped or can someone call on another person for help.  Great Morning Circle game!
  • Recite “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe.” –
Outdoor connections Outdoor Connections
  • Adapt the recording sheet and put pictures of objects found outside instead of the numbers 1-6.  Instead of having a sheet that has the numbers 1-6 with columns of 6 boxes above each number, you will now have pictures of objects found outside (tress, cars, flowers, birds, insects, garbage cans) Before going outside, have a discussion with the children about what items they think they are most likely to see and what items they don’t think they will see.  You can even make some of the items ridiculous. (flying saucer, magical pumpkin carriage)  Once outside, the children can put an X in the box of items that they see.  Once the children are done with their investigation, have them share their findings.


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