Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2014
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4 Dice a Fractions Game

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Fun bowling game reinforces fractions, boosts critical thinking

Subjects & skills
  • Math

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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Pros: Kids practice adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions using a unique approach that builds critical-thinking skills.

Cons: Some kids might struggle with the format and do better with the more typical solve-the-equation approach.

Bottom Line: The combination of a fun bowling theme and a sound learning approach makes this game an effective way for kids to work with fractions.

In the classroom, 4 Dice a Fractions Game could be used to reinforce learned skills. Once kids know the basic rules for operations on fractions and for writing equivalent fractions, have them play the game individually. They also can use the multiplayer mode to play with up to four classmates. Have kids send a report once they finish playing so you can track their progress. The printable worksheet can be used as a homework assignment, and kids can try creating their own equations with real dice. 

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4 Dice a Fractions Game is a math game that helps kids boost their fraction skills. At the main screen, kids can choose Play, Scores, Instructions, or Get More. Play takes users to the game; Scores displays user scores and includes options for sending or resetting scores; Instructions displays a graphical summary of game play; and Get More takes users to a screen where they can submit an email address to receive a printable worksheet of the game.

Kids select Play to start a new game, then choose a single or multiplayer game and select from five different skills: adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and challenge mode, in which they also must choose the operations to complete the equations. Once kids choose a skill, the game begins. Four dice are rolled and the results appear at the top of the screen; a blank equation with an answer also appears. Kids have to drag each die into the equation to make fractions that will result in the correct answer. Then they tap the BOWL! icon to find out if they completed the equation correctly. When the equation is correct, the solution appears; when the equation is incorrect, a stepped-out explanation appears to show why it's incorrect. Kids can either redo the problem or reset the pins for a new problem. A scratch pad is available for players who need to work through the problems. 

Kids can get solid math practice with 4 Dice a Fractions Game, and the learning approach strongly promotes critical thinking by requiring kids to make fractions that produce a given answer. It's helpful that kids can see why an answer is incorrect, and that they can try again to get it right. With four operations to choose from, plus a challenge mode, the game appeals to a wide range of ages and abilities. Since the game jumps right into problems that require higher-order thinking, kids should have some knowledge of the skill they're working with. For example, if kids choose to play the addition game, they should know the basic rules for adding fractions and how to write equivalent fractions. 

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Bowling is always a fun theme for kids, and they'll enjoy earning high scores for correct answers. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Kids are given the answer to an equation and have to fill in the fractions that will produce that answer. This approach is a good way to build analytical thinking skills. Feedback for incorrect answers shows why those answers are incorrect. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Visual instructions are provided, and the developer's website has lots of information, including a blog and teaching tips. Student worksheets are available for purchase. 

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