For years I have seen a pin of functions dice on Pinterest and thought they were the coolest things ever. As it turns out, the pin originated from a Math Teacher named Druin on the post simply called Function Dice. Here is the photo that you have probably already seen:

In Algebra 2 we needed a hands-on activity to keep everyone engaged. It was May, seniors were leaving soon and my juniors were all rapidly contracting their own little cases of senioritis. In May we were learning function operations and my students needed practice that didn't feel like practice.

I put one set of dice together just to see how long it would take. On function dice day my students grabbed scissors and tape and put their dice together themselves. It took them about 15 minutes (while chatting a whole lot) but it was a nice relaxing start to the activity. I gave everyone this recording sheet:

and let them practice. The directions on the sheet are to roll the function dice twice and the operation dice once. Then students record their rolls on their sheets and circle their final answers.

There are 24 cards that ask students to add, subtract, multiply and divide functions at x or at a given value.

Everyone got a recording sheet with 24 rows to show all of their work. I usually print one set of task cards per 2-3 students, but for bigger classes I am sure a set can be stretched farther. I like assessing with task cards because there is less pressure, students can learn while they are being assessed and confidence stays a little higher.

I messaged Druin through Twitter asking if it would be OK for me to offer an editable version of his handmade function dice through my blog and got the go-ahead! A free editable set of function dice can be found here. Thanks Druin!

Early on in the school year we start learning about functions, what makes a function and evaluating them given numerical values. You can read about how we start learning about functions in the post To Function or Not to Function.

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