When my students reflect on their experiences as a student in my health classes, I hope one of the things they’ll remember is how we have fun while learning. One of the ways I incorporate fun in my health classes is by using dice for various activities. Here are five benefits of using dice in the health classroom:
- Engagement. Dice games can be fun and engaging, and they can help to motivate students to participate and learn. One example of an engaging activity using dice I use is Come on Six.
- Randomness. Dice introduce an element of randomness to classroom activities, which can help to level the playing field and make things more fair for all students. One example of incorporating randomness using dice is through teaching refusal skills. I have students roll a dice once to determine the pressure they’ll be refusing, then a second time for the refusal skill/strategy they’ll use.
3. Skill-building. Many dice games require strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, which can help students develop these important cognitive abilities. One example of a skill building activity using dice I adapted from Andy Milne’s STI Dice Game (original activity is posted here) which ties decision making in with sexual health. The adapted activity can be found here: STI Dice Game.
4. Social skills. Dice games often involve interaction and communication with other students, which can help to improve social skills such as cooperation, teamwork, and communication. One example of an activity to promote social skills using dice is to use “Dicebreakers” or to use dice as a debriefing activity.
- Variety. Dice can be used in a wide variety of activities, which can help to keep things fresh and interesting for students. If you’re looking for a different way to do an exit ticket, try using dice!
If you’re looking to purchase dice, I love these two options from Gopher Sport: Rainbow Coated-Foam Dice and Rainbow Beanbag Dice. Both of these options are fun for students to squeeze and aren’t as loud as the acrylic/resin ones. If you don’t have the money in your budget to buy either of those options (or a similar) and use acrylic/resin dice, just be aware, in addition to the laughter and fun, the dice are loud; you might want to shut your classroom door when using them!
So, take a chance, roll out the fun, and use dice in your health classroom!
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