A Roll of the Dice: A Unique Math Activity for Building Divisibility Rules Mastery

Welcome fellow math educators, to another insightful exploration of hands-on mathematics. Today, I am thrilled to present an exciting classroom activity aptly named “A Roll of the Dice”. This activity merges the concepts of divisibility rules, probability, and strategy into a riveting game that your students are sure to love.

Activity Overview

A Roll of the Dice” is a skill and chance-based game designed to enhance your students’ understanding of divisibility rules. The game is designed to be played by groups of three – two players and one referee. It offers a fun, collaborative approach to learning and mastering the divisibility rules of numbers, encouraging students to experiment, take risks, and think strategically.


For this game, you’ll need:

  1. A dice per group
  2. Sheets of paper or small cards for each player to write numbers
  3. A referee’s record sheet

Gameplay Instructions

Now that you understand the game’s objectives and requirements, let’s break down how “A Roll of the Dice” is played.

  1. Split your class into groups of three. Each group will consist of a referee and two players.
  2. Player 1 writes a number no more than three digits on a sheet. This number is kept secret from Player 2.
  3. The referee rolls the dice. Let’s say the dice comes up with the number “3.”
  4. Player 1 reveals the secret number, and Player 2 must decide whether the number is divisible by the number rolled on the dice.
  5. The referee records the answer in the following format: Player 2: Number 135: Die reads 3: Player 2 says this number is divisible by 3.
  6. It’s now Player 2’s turn to write a number for Player 1.
  7. This continues for ten rounds, after which the player with the most correct answers wins.

An intriguing twist to this game lies in the roll of a “1”. When the referee rolls a one, it indicates the player misses a turn. This factor introduces an element of luck into the game, creating more opportunities for engagement and excitement.


Players are encouraged to be strategic in their choice of numbers. Some numbers will not be divisible by any of the numbers 2-6. Therefore, being wise in number selection adds a layer of complexity to the game and provides an excellent opportunity for discussion about probability and strategy.

Accommodations & Modifications

Differentiated instruction is key in any successful learning environment. Here’s how you can modify “A Roll of the Dice” to cater to various learners’ needs:

1. For beginners or younger students: Begin with a smaller range of numbers. For instance, let players only choose numbers from 1 to 50. You can also simplify the game by removing the element of ‘missing a turn’ when rolling a ‘1’.

2. For advanced learners: Add more complexity to the game. Allow players to choose numbers with more than three digits. You can also introduce other mathematical concepts like multiplication or finding factors.

3. For students who struggle with fine motor skills: Allow students to use digital devices to type their numbers instead of writing them. They can also use a digital random number generator instead of rolling a dice.

Gameplay Examples

To help you visualize how “A Roll of the Dice” unfolds, here are a few gameplay scenarios:

Scenario 1:

Referee rolls the dice: It’s a 4. Player 1 has written 135. Player 2 claims it’s not divisible by 4. Player 2 is correct.

Scenario 2:

Referee rolls the dice: It’s a 2. Player 2 has written 58. Player 1 claims it’s divisible by 2. Player 1 is correct.

Scenario 3:

Referee rolls the dice: It’s a 1. Player 1 misses a turn.

The game continues in this fashion, encouraging students to deepen their understanding of the divisibility rules while engaging in strategic decision-making.

Tying it All Together

By merging chance, strategy, and mathematical understanding, “A Roll of the Dice” offers an engaging and dynamic way to reinforce divisibility rules. This game is sure to captivate your students’ attention and encourage them to learn math in an interactive and fun way.

As educators, we are constantly seeking innovative ways to make learning more engaging and interactive. With “A Roll of the Dice”, you can transform your mathematics classroom into a hub of active learning, curiosity, and mathematical exploration.

CCSS Alignment

Lastly, it’s essential to recognize the importance of aligning our instruction to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Here are the standards that “A Roll of the Dice” directly addresses:

  1. CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.B.5: Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide.
  2. CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.OA.B.4: Find all factor pairs for a whole number in the range 1-100.
  3. CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.6: Find whole-number quotients and remainders with up to four-digit dividends and one-digit divisors.

By integrating activities such as “A Roll of the Dice” into your instruction, you’re not just making learning fun and engaging—you’re also adhering to important educational standards and guidelines that aim to shape well-rounded, mathematically competent students.

Thanks for joining me in this exploration of “A Roll of the Dice”. I hope you’ve found some inspiration here, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes in your classrooms. Until next time, happy teaching and dice rolling!

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