Mr. Jones' Room

1st-4th Math Coach Constantly Searching for New Ideas

Modified Roll and Build

For those of you unfamiliar with the traditional Roll & Build from Illustrative Mathematics, you can take a look here.

I followed a similar idea, but put it into practice a bit differently. I wanted to work on place value understanding which the original Roll & Build is fantastic for. But, I also wanted to include some simple adding and make it last a bit longer to really drive home the idea that 10 Ones = 1 Ten, and 10 Tens = 1 Hundred. This is 1st grade, so they are expected to compute sums within 100.

The basic format is that a student rolls the dice, and is responsible for finding out the sum. When they figure out the sum, we compare the Ones Blocks for that sum to a Tens Rod.

5 + 4

5 + 4

For example, you can see above that 5 + 4 = 9. We know that 5 + 4 < 10 because there aren’t enough to make 1 Tens Rod. The addition and comparisons make this a really rich activity for students with a seemingly easy premise.



We can see above that we have 8 + 5 = 13. So, 8 + 5 > 10. Again, this activity has a very low floor but it is rich in a number of ways for 1st graders.


Then, we start keeping track of what we roll and add up until we get all the way to 100.

securedownload-19 securedownload-20


Once we get close to 100, the student who rolls to get exactly 100 gets a sticker.


The kids were really engaged throughout and noticed a lot about using a place value chart.


One comment on “Modified Roll and Build

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I always enjoy looking at your creative alternative ways for teaching numeracy concepts. I received a very traditional math education myself, and I was lucky that it worked for me. Seeing these new teaching methods, however, shows me that a lot of kids stand to benefit from alternative approaches, particularly students who learn in more spatial, kinesthetic ways. Keep up the good work!

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This entry was posted on May 16, 2014 by in Everyday and tagged , , , , , .
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