Step 1: Gather materials.
- Dice (two per child)
- Yahtzee playing card (When the child rolls the dice, the sum of the dice is then crossed off on the card. The child keeps going until he/she has crossed out all of the numbers. If the child has a number crossed off and rolls that number again, the child simply rolls another time.
Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.
Step 2: Introduce activity.
- Explain that today the children will all be using dice to practice addition. Start by asking if anyone can explain what addition is.
- Reinforce the definition of addition by stating: “Addition is the joining of two or more numbers to get one number called the sum.”
- Introduce the game Yahtzee and explain the goal of the game.
- Model how to play the game.
Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.
- Hand out game cards and dice.
- Model how to use the dice properly. Encourage small rolls that stay on the table. It is important to model proper rolling to avoid dice flying everywhere and children spending more time retrieving dice than playing the game.
- Use three dice and change the numbers on the card to 3-18.
Step 4: Teach math vocabulary.
- Add: Increase in amount or number (e.g.,”What number do you get when you add three and four?”)
- Equal: To be the same in number or amount (e.g., “Three plus four is equal to seven.”)
- Plus: The addition of (e.g.,”Explain that plus is another word used when we are adding one number to another, such as three plus four is seven.”)
Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.
Adapt Lesson for Toddlers
- Still be working on number recognition
Home child care providers may:
- Rework the Yahtzee board to contain numbers 1-6 and have the children use a single die, crossing off the numbers as they roll them.
Adapt Lesson for Preschoolers
- Be adding single-digit numbers 1-6 with ease
Home child care providers may:
- Add three dice and modify the Yahtzee card to include numbers 3-18 (The children will learn the hard way how hard it is to roll a three or an 18!)
- Addition the Fun Way Book for Kids: A Picture Method of Learning the Addition Facts by Judy Liautaud (Minneapolis, MN: City Creek Press, 1996)
- The Mission of Addition (Math Is Categorical) by Brian P. Cleary (Minneapolis, MN: First Avenue Edition, 2007)
- Let’s Throw the Dice (Let’s Move) by Heidi Linder (Meyer & Meyer Verlag, 2003)
Music and Movement
- “The Add and Subtract Body Part Dance” gets children moving and exercising as they move the number of body parts that is equivalent to the sum of each addition and subtraction problem. www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9hA9JvfLFQ
- Use these addition and subtraction songs to teach skip counting, place value and word problems. www.songsforteaching.com/math/additionsubtractionsongs.htm
- Counting songs for children www.pinterest.com/pin/34902965834841025/
- A gross motor addition game www.momto2poshlildivas.com/2013/04/add-it-up-gross-motor-addition-game.html
- Water balloons target practice www.motherhoodonadime.com/kids/water-balloon-target-practice/
- Fun games that help children master addition facts 1-12 www.fun4thebrain.com/addition.html
- Pre-K math skills organized into categories. To start practicing, players click on any link. IXL tracks the player’s score and the questions automatically increase in difficulty as the player improves. www.ixl.com/math/pre-k/ –
- Play “Balloon Pop” and “Fruit Shoot.” www.sheppardsoftware.com/mathgames/menus/counting.htm