Lesson plan

Rolling Math

In this lesson, students will roll with numbers and identify what comes before and after a number. They will roll dice, add numbers and practice counting forward and backward from the sum.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Counting On pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Counting On pre-lesson.

Students will count forward or backward from any given number chosen.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Begin your lesson by asking your students questions about counting. Potential discussion questions include: "Have you ever lost count and needed to know where to start? What do you do when you need to know how many pencils you and your neighbor have?"
  • Show your students how to roll the dice. Put the dice into the plastic container and shake them inside. Show your students the numbers on top of the dice, explaining that they will be adding these numbers together in the lesson.
(10 minutes)
  • Using the numbers from the previous roll, instruct your students to add the dots together. For example, if the numbers are five and six, have them add those numbers together to get 11.
  • After determining the sum, or the total, of the two numbers, direct your students to find out the number before and after that sum. For example, if the sum is 11, they will count forward to the next number to get 12, and they will count backward to get the number before (10).
  • On the board, draw a red circle as seen in the worksheet. Write the sum (11) in the center.
  • Call on a student to say the the numbers that come before and after 11.
  • Write the previous number (10) to the left of the circle on the board, and write the next number (12) to the right of the circle on the board.
(5 minutes)
  • Give each of your students a recording rolling worksheet.
  • Roll the dice and show them to your class again.
  • Have them add the two top numbers.
  • Instruct them to find the sum, the previous number and the next number on their worksheets.
  • Ask for a volunteer to say these numbers aloud to make sure that everyone has the same numbers.
(10 minutes)
  • Give each of your students two dice.
  • Instruct them to roll the dice by shaking them in their hands, then add the two top numbers.
  • Have them write the sum in the red circle, the previous number before the circle, and the next number after the circle.
  • Have them repeat this process four more times.


  • If your students are having trouble identifying numbers, ask them to just add the numbers together instead of counting backward and forward.


  • Give students additional dice to roll. Have them add more numbers together and see how high they can count.
(5 minutes)
  • Write each student's name on the assessment sheet in the empty space provided.
  • Walk around the class and circle numbers that the students can recognize. This will give an indication of what numbers your students know.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask your students to call out the sums that they rolled. Write these numbers on the board.
  • Ask your students to call out the previous and next numbers, and write those numbers on the board as well.
  • Keep asking until you have all the numbers from one through 13.

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