5 Dice: Order of Operations Game (App)



5 Dice: Order of Operations Game

This hands-on game has multi-player capabilities which will allow 2 players to compete against each other in the same room on separate devices. This feature will help parents, teachers, and students play competitive or cooperatively with each other using the iPhone, iPad or iTouch.

5 Dice: Order of Operations Game is a math app intended for upper elementary and middle school students that helps students enjoy practicing their order of operations. The game encourages students to use higher order thinking to solve the “target” number by working backwards given the answer but not the equation.


5 Dice: Order of Operations Game

icon 5 Dice
5 DIce app store
(Cost: FREE!)

Key Features:

  • Multiplayer Mode – up to 5 Players
  • Higher-order thinking game (not a drill and kill game)
  • Progress reports can be sent to the teacher (making formative assessment easy)
  • A whiteboard built into the game to make a way for students to work out problems

Someone posted this on a Facebook page the other day:


2 + 2 x 2 + 2 x 2 – 2 x 2 =

a. 6

b. 16

c. 40

I was absolutely astonished that so many people had got the answer wrong. You can find the answer at the bottom of the page if you are one of the many who need a little brushing up on how the order of operations work.

Knowing the Order of Operations is important for a student’s success in math. 5 Dice is a great math game for teaching and learning the order of operations making time spent on “practicing” enjoyable. Parents, teachers, math supervisors or math tutors will all agree that, when learning incorporates hands-on activities, children will retain skills far longer.

An old adage says that people remember ten percent of what they hear, but ninety percent of what they do. This game involves students so that, as they play, they learn. Each student is an active participant applying skills in an engaging, effective way for remembering the order of operations. By creating the equation to fit the answer, students are required to use their higher order thinking skill to solve the problem successfully. As the levels progress, the student will gain a better understanding of the mathematical concept of the order of operations.

Are students learning the order of operations for the first time? This game serves to effectively guide students in applying newly learned skills in a setting that naturally accommodates middle school students’ socialization needs. This creates the optimal learning environment to support long-term retention of new skills.

Are students back from summer or winter vacation and showing a loss of math skills from the time spent away from school? The order of operations game will refresh their memories quickly as they play with their peers to recall and apply these skills once again.

Are students in need of additional skills practice to prepare for the more advanced math that awaits them in upper middle school and high school? Use the order of operations game to further strengthen students’ understanding and application of the rules for order of operations, a needed skill for upper school mathematics.

Are you the best shot? Can you solve problems involving multiple steps and multiple operations? 5 Dice is a fun, interactive game to help middle school students master and understand how the order of operations in math works.

This math game is made for students at different age groups and skill levels. For example, an elementary student could use simple addition and subtraction to achieve the target whereas a middle school student could perform complex combinations of many operations to reach the target.

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5 Dice - play head-to-head

5 Dice: Order of Operations Game – Multi-player Mode can connect 2 devices and play head-to-head.



Reviews (What Teachers & Parents are Saying):

So good and it’s FREE!! A teacher’s dream!! ★★★★★
by adrock1970 – Version 1.4 – Feb 14, 2013

I think this is a terrific app. It is a classic math game that people ages 6-66 can play for fun. The addition of pairing your app in bluetooth mode to play against an opponent in the room is a great new update. The app lets you use functions such as parenthesis and exponents which many math apps don’t have. I would love to see more from this developer in the future. Teachers that I know, love this game!

Educational Math App ★★★★
by Frances Amato – Version 1.4 – Feb 14, 2013

A few things I like about the app as a teacher is that you can send progress reports can, it is able to be used with multiple players so it can be an educational “game” that is appropriate in the classroom setting. I like the white board feature as well. The app does encourage students to use higher-order thinking. I like how it gives that answer but not the equation; kids solve the target number by working backward. I like that you are able to make multiple user profiles which is great for teaching. I see over eighty students and this app would be helpful for an educator a similar position. What I love is when using this app with middle school students it promotes that players use multi-step problem solving skills in order to get the desired result. It also engages and intrigues children to keep trying until they get the right answer. This is something that I feel is important because children get bored of using apps very easily. I think the app is good to help learn order of operations and promote higher order thinking in an app.

Great middle-high school math app ★★★★★
by K dogs mom – Version 1.4 – Feb 12, 2013

It is very difficult to find quality apps that will work on middle-high school math skills. I believe this app does a great job. I really like that they are not just building an order of operations problem but that user is asked to design the problem to have a targeted outcome. I found the whiteboard space a helpful addition. This app is great for classrooms as you can create profiles and have the results emailed to the teacher.

Outstanding math app ★★★★★
by Ezigbo – Version 1.3 – Feb 12, 2013

Five Dice is not your father’s math review activity. By approaching the exercise from a new perspective (building a formula to match a given solution) and by incorporating students’ love of competition and interactive gaming, this app helps students learn higher-order thinking skills without seeming to do so. Genius and sure to be effective!

Great Math App ★★★★
by Letter Learning – Version 1.3 – Feb 10, 2013

As a 4th grade teacher I really like this app. It’s great to use for practicing order of operations in math workshop/centers/stations. Students can practice by themselves or through a Bluetooth connection they can play with a partner on another device. Students can email their results to the teacher for the accountability piece that is necessary when students are working independently. This is also great for 3rd & 4th graders to practice their number sense by using the addition/subtraction level.

Love It!!! ★★★★★
by Ms. Mkl – Version 1.0 – Nov 12, 2012

The kids in my class love this game. They love to challenge each other to see who can get closest to the target number. This game is a great review for students and a great time filler when they get done with work early 🙂
[/one_half] [one_half_last]Excellent app ★★★★★
by cherjam826 – Version 1.3 – Feb 9, 2013

This is a great app for students to work on their higher order thinking skills. There is a bluetooth option to play against a friend, sibling, parent, or classmate. There are printable activity sheets for carryover at home or in the classroom. There is also progress/data tracking through email to the teacher or parent. This is a very well thought out app!

A Fresh Concept ★★★★★
by 123shiloh – Version 1.3 – Feb 7, 2013

A fresh concept. A challenging and educational math game for anyone to play alone or via bluetooth with a friend. A great App to use in a Math Club or Math class. The bluetooth connection worked easily. Good for late elementary through adulthood. Scores can be emailed. Paper games can be printed from the App as well.

Great Math App ★★★★★
by vgreen50 – Version 1.3 – Feb 6, 2013

This app is excellent for all ages and all grades. There are several contests that schools hold with the same concept and there are pre-made card games with the same idea. Now to have it in an app is great. I like the choices of levels and that the higher levels can even use exponents. It is basic, no frills, and the fact that there is a choice of one player (great for practice) and two player adds to make it a great app. Excellent higher order thinking app too.

Brain exercise! ★★★★★
by sevenrox – Version 1.3 – Feb 4, 2013

Wow! This game is not only excellent in developing children’s understanding of order of operations, but it can be very challenging for adults as well. Talk about brain exercise! Whew! I like that the game play is simple and easy to understand. The whiteboard is very helpful and Imlove that the dice in play is displayed on top. I also love that you can get a printable version of the game. I received the printable version very quickly via email. I also love that parents and teachers can track a child’s progress via email. I recommend this game for older elementary kids and adults. Younger kids may find this too hard or tedious.

5 Dice ★★★★★
by Kikisisters – Version 1.0 – Nov 18, 2012

A perfect 21st Century center where student work is reported to you. The game is fabulous, but the development process is even better. The fact that students can log in with the teacher’s email and information is sent to his/her teacher is priceless. You now have records of what the child is doing while you’re with another group reviewing or retracting. My hope is that you use the same development process with the next math file folder game. This is truly the future of centers in the classroom. Kudos!

A Thinking Math Game ★★★★★
by Bloodhound555 – Version 1.0 – Nov 15, 2012

What we enjoyed about this game is that it was a real challenge. Just as the description said, “It is not a drill and kill game.” I think of it as math chess. One of the coolest features of this game in my opinion, is the whiteboard. Here you can write with your finger as you calculate the correct answer. If you tap the eraser button, your finger works in a likewise manner. I am very pleased with how challenging this game is, and I think it teaches far more than order of operations. This encourages patience, strategic thinking, and is not at all a filler activity.



What We’re Doing to Engage Kids Beyond the App

Less preparation time, more learning time – a perfect combination for parents and instructors who are teaching, re-teaching and providing students with opportunities for applying the order of operations skills for long term retention.

One key feature with this app is that it is very easy to extend beyond the one-player game to a classroom setting.  The 5 Dice App comes with printable game sheets (free with the app), making preparation for lessons simple. All that’s needed are dice, pencils, calculators and the printable game sheets OR just the 5 Dice app hooked up to a smartboard displaying to the class or, even better, an iPad in every students’ hand so they can play individually and track their progress. Learning is fun for the students and preparation is minimal for parents and instructors.

Helpful suggestions for parents and educators

Classroom Use:
Many classrooms don’t have an entire classroom set of iPads or iTouches, here are a few suggestions that can be used to solve this problem.

One Device Multiple Players
This probably means that there is only one device in the classroom, most likely the teacher’s personal device. With this in mind, a great way to play this game would be to project the game onto the board for everyone to see and have everyone get out a piece of paper (or our printable version of the game).  Set a time limit of 1 minute and have the students try to solve the projected problem on the board. This would be a great introduction activity and it’s very quick to setup and do. (and fun too!).

Two Devices Multiple Players

  • Work in small groups with one device.
  • Use printable board (download here) or just a blank piece of paper to record your work.
  • Create a multiplayer username (ex Group 1).
  • Use the numbers rolled on the App (Device). Proceed to solve it.
  • Input the closest expression into app to check answer.

Two Devices – Two players
Play independently or in partners trying to get the best score possible.


  • It might help to set a time limit.
  • Submit group work from device to teacher’s email.

What Some Teachers have said about the Print Version of this game:

This is a wonderful game. It has everything needed, and it will be a wonderful learning experience for the children. – Missy Powers
Great center activity. Simple to prepare yet more challenging to play as opposed to simply putting numbers in order. Just what I was looking for. Thanks. – Heather White

Download the APP Here!!

5 DIce app store

Feedback & Recommendations:

We would love to receive feedback from you to help us in creating and evolving this game into the best learning environment for your students or children.

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    Please Check the Box to Confirm You're a Human, Thanks

    Just in case you’re still stumped by the question above here is the answer broken down for you (just like our app does when playing):

    2 + 2 x 2 + 2 x 2 – 2 x 2 =

    2 + 4 + 4 – 4 =

    6 + 4 – 4 =

    10 – 4 =


    Do you like this game? If so, then please share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or wherever it is that you share things. If you like it, I’m sure your friends will too.

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    Inside the Game:





    Assessment Notes: 

    • If the student is taking very little time and gets most attempts wrong, they are probably just guessing and not trying.
    • I like to see an “adequate” amount of time spent per question, gradually increasing as questions get harder.
    • Lots of time, lots of attempts and very few correct? The student is probably struggling with this concept.