The ordinary dice is indeed a very versatile object; not just associated with a plethora of board games - but also serves its purpose as an important tool of learning - a math manipulative to be precise.

Here's one way of how you can use a simple six-sided dice to graph data on a line plot.

graphing data on a line plot

But first of all, let's clear the common confusion between the terms 'dice' and 'die'.

Do they mean the same?

Can they be used interchangeably?

To answer the above, well - both terms refer to the same object - the difference lies in the plurality.

'Die' is the singular term - it refers to one.

graphing data on a line plot

'Dice' on the other hand, as per modern standard English, could be used to refer to the singular and the plural. It refers to one or more than one.
    graphing data on a line plot

So which term do I prefer?
'Dice' of course - for one thing it doesn't have the  negative connotation associated with the synonym 'die' - as in 'kicking the bucket' and for another it supersedes in versatility as it can represent both the singular and plural.

Now coming back to the line plot activity that dictates the rolling of a dice (singular form - one die), all your students need is one six-sided dice, a task card outlining the task, a line plot template and a response sheet.

graphing data on a line plot

The objective is to roll the dice 15 times and record the outcome of each roll on a line plot graph using the 'X' symbol.

graphing data on a line plot

Then comes the task of interpreting the data collected on the line plot graph.

How many times did a particular number appear when the dice was rolled?

Which was the most rolled number and the least rolled number?

These kind of constructive questions help a student reflect on the data plotted on the line plot graph.

Needless to say, it also connects to real-life data and makes the abstract more concrete.

graphing data on a line plot

Put this activity at a center and your students are all ready to have some hands-on fun.

             graphing data on a line plot

Storage is all taken care of too - simply place the templates in a file folder and glue on the attractive cover to entice. Here is a choice of two.

graphing data on a line plotgraphing data on a line plot

Remember to also insert the task card outlining the task and sample completed templates so your students have a better idea of how the completed task looks like.

graphing data on a line plot

Other than a dice manipulative to record data on a line plot graph, your students can also use coins, candy (M&M's), spinners, visual cards to name a few.

This line plot uses a fraction cube that students can roll, akin to rolling a dice.

graphing data on a line plot

And this line plot uses a spinner that students can spin to win a make-believe prize.

graphing data on a line plot

This bundle below has 13 such center activities - all deal with plotting and interpreting line plots using hands-on data.

line plot graph

If you've made it all the way to the end of this post - thank you and here's a link to the free templates required for creating and interpreting a line plot graph using a dice mentioned in this post.

line plot graph
To sign off, if you're like me and sometimes have a moment of when to use 'die' or 'dice' - I like to recall this simple analogy - namely, that we humans only live this beautiful life once and this notion is synonymous with the math manipulative 'die' - in that it also interestingly denotes - one.

Happy teaching!

Until next time...



So what is the best way to award your students for all the hard work they've put in during the week, term, semester or year? Well, for me - personally, I've found that the most economical, flexible and effective way to reward my students is by presenting awards or certificates of appreciation to each and every one. A simple way to award - some may argue - but one that is of significant value to both recipient and giver.

student awards and rewards

Of course, students have to earn these awards. Needless to say that this teaches them the invaluable lesson that nothing in life comes for free - it has to be earned.

So if students work hard and prepare for their spelling tests - then there is a 'Super Speller' award.

end of year awards

Or if they've come to school every single day - there's the 'Perfect Attendance' award.

student awards

And if a student has been a good buddy to somebody - there's the 'Best Buddy' award.

award certificates

My favorite/favourite is the 'Shining Star for Homework Award' . Why so? Because for one thing, by submitting their homework every. single. time. students show their dedication to you and the subject you teach. It is a clear indicator of how conscientious they are - besides all that hard work after a busy school day just needs to be commended.

end of year awards

When it comes to yearly recognition, Diploma Awards bring joy to everyone. This source of happiness could primarily stem from the fact that the year has come to an end and a glorious break awaits - but I like to think that all students are simply joyous because they are going to be awarded publically in class or perhaps even during a special awarding ceremony.

Whatever reason - I'm just happy to give every student an award and all (or so I like to think) are equally happy  to receive it. After all, it's extrinsic motivation that induces intrinsic motivation which in turn is subjective and results in a long-term much desired outcome.

graduation awards

And yes, I prefer not to give a 'Clown of the Class' award or even 'Most Improved' award - just because these titles seem to have a negative connotation to them. Mind you, I mean no offense to clowns, but I personally feel their place is in the circus and not in the classroom where 'intense'  teaching and learning is taking place.

My contention with the 'Most Improved' award lies with the subtle underlying message it conveys - namely that the student was not upto the mark before and is still not quite there - but is 'improving' - that might be so, but then think about it - no child wants to be made to feel that way, now do they?

behavior management

Keep in mind also that when giving award certificates - that they cater to diversity - by that I mean, the images represent students of different ethnicity. Watching your student's eyes light up to see something that represents them is indeed an immeasurable moment.

presenting award certificates

These creatively designed award certificates might be just an inexpensive piece of paper at the end of the day, but to students it would mean a lot - to be recognized/recognised for their efforts, not just by their teachers and classmates, but the wider school community as well - now isn't that characteristic of an holistic school environment.

You probably know all about the importance of awarding students and already have a huge collection of award certificates - but hey - why not add one more to your stash, best of all it's free.

So click on the image link to earn your freebie - it's unconditional - no need to leave feedback unless sinerely compelled.


Writing doesn't have to be 'boring'

One of the most challenging tasks of teaching students to write a particular genre is instilling a passion for it. A majority of students find writing tedious, time-consuming, and just plain old boring.

Teachers too often dread marking work of these 'reluctant' writers. We often go on about drilling students on the different stages of the writing process, adhering to the structure of the required genre, and stressing on the importance of using figurative language devices in a piece of writing, but how often do we actually painstakingly  model each phase or each device that intricately makes up the coherent whole?

When I started designing my units on the Narrative, Opinion, and Non-fiction (Biography) genre, I envisioned the entire process from start to finish, and being an avid advocate of interpreting the abstract, set about designing lessons accordingly. I designed from a student writer's perspective, how would I begin? where would I start? And so I decided to write mentor texts and have most of my lessons revolve around them.

elements of a plot narrative writing
openers and sizzling starts

comparative writing
 ethos pathos logos

This also involved lessons that featured the use of Cornell-style guided notes that students wrote as they viewed PowerPoint presentations. This mode of lesson delivery, I found was effective because it resulted in students being alert and actively engaged as they followed along while I presented the writing lesson.

elements of a plot
I also found that anchor charts displayed in the classroom to be an invaluable point of reference for students as they wrote and these were displayed for the genre in question we were focussing on.

writing to persuade
writing to convince

exposition orientation
rising action and external internal conflict

time line in a biography
factual information in a biography

Moreover the combination of interactive notebook templates and plain old-fashioned sheets also sought to motivate the most reluctant of writers.

writing hook opinion thesis
writing  plot problem characters

opinion writing techniques
 persuasive writing

I also found that focus on one writing skill at a time was extremely beneficial for all students to really get comfortable with the writing process and polish their writing technique at the same time.

Below are the snapshots of a lesson we did solely on sizzling starts in a narrative. Students learned all the different interesting ways to start and not stick to the boring opener of 'one day...' or 'once upon a time..' for that matter.

openers introduction

Needless to say the integration with QR codes made writing all the more fun!

openers introduction
 openers introduction

And finally to assess the application of writing skills taught during the year, I like to give my students a writing prompt to write on via a flipbook. This is work in progress and students love seeing how the parts of a flipbook get completed  - besides it makes a very eye-catching bulletin board display too.

                  factual account

fictional account narrative

persuasive techniques flipbook

Students know better than to submit their finished pieces to me as is - they self-edit and peer-edit to see where they can improve using the checklists below depending upon the genre under study.

text structure introduction body conclusion
 text structure introduction body conclusion

audience text structure dialogue

But for me, the art of teaching writing has still not been mastered - it still remains a very abstract subject, one that still requires much trial and error, much creation and much shaping of teaching techniques. Nevertheless, if you would like to be a part of this teaching and learning curve, then sample the creations while they are in the making and provide constructive feedback. The bundle below is a growing one - that means purchase now and you will get all lifetime updates for free. Now how good is that? Together we can make writing for ALL our students not mundane, monotonous and boring - but liberating and fun!

Iwriting to narrate persuade convince