Series: Arts Integration with David Cooper: Greek Mythology in the Classroom & Museum

Roll the Dice for Participation
Lesson Objective: Call on students to participate
All Grades / All Subjects / Engagement

Thought starters

  1. How does this strategy hold students accountable?
  2. When might you randomly call on students and when might you pick certain students to call on?
  3. How could you adapt this strategy for use in your classroom?
This is a terrific idea and I will use this soon. I am concerned about the annoying noise the dice make on the desk. I'm also concerned that this method would get old very quickly for me and my students. I can see it used a few times a week for oral pop quizzes, for instance. My students already have numbers, so I may use the dice to call on a group. Each group will have a spokesperson who will have the group come to a decision and report to the whole class.
Recommended (3)
This is a wonderful way of engaging students. I like the musical sound of the dice on the table. That sound keeps students on alert. It also breaks up the monotony of silence.
Recommended (1)
Does keep students engaged.. but I would of hated it as a student.. esp. if I didn't know the every answer.. I can see if as stressful for some students.
Recommended (1)
Love it! My classroom has seats in rows and could easily work for that...row ? seat ?. I currently use clothespins with their names on them that helps me make sure everyone gets to answer and this idea would mix it up nicely. Thanks!
Recommended (1)
I'm not sure if I want to use this with my first grade students, but I do have small rubber dice that are quiet.
Recommended (1)


  • Roll the Dice for Participation Transcript

    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:00:03 What’s one thing that you detected? Table Six, Seat Five.

    Roll the Dice for Participation Transcript

    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:00:03 What’s one thing that you detected? Table Six, Seat Five.
    00:00:09 I detected that the statue was pretty old.
    00:00:13 [TITLE: Roll the Dice for Participation]
    [TITLE: A Classroom Strategy]
    00:00:17 A focus of mine in the classroom is for my students to engage in what they’re learning. And to maximize accountability, I’ve tried a lot of different strategies – popsicle sticks, writing names on playing cards. But the strategy I use in my class is rolling two die.
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:00:34 Table Two, Seat Five.
    If you look closely, there’s, like, a crescent moon.
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:00:38 You thought there was a crescent moon here.
    00:00:41 I have my classroom arranged in six tables of six students. And each table, each chair has a number – Seat 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. And the students know what table they’re at and what seat number they’re in because they have to put that information on every assignment they turn in, so it’s constantly reinforced.

    00:00:59 When I need to call on a student I can do it randomly by rolling the die.
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:01:04 Table One, Seat Three.
    The students know that at any time their number could be called. This helps them remain ready, accountable, engaged in what we’re doing. I finally managed to engage a certain type of student that I couldn’t reach before.

    00:01:21 Students who tend to be quiet in class, they tend to not raise their hand as much, they tend to not answer many questions – all of a sudden, I’m seeing a completely different side of these students.
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:01:32 Table One, Seat Four.
    00:01:35 The reason why I can tell it’s Zeus is because of the way his hair is.
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    The way his hair is.
    00:01:40 They also understand that if their number comes up three times in a row that they’re answering three questions in a row.
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:01:47 Alright. Let’s try another. Table Four, Seat Four.
    00:01:53 Oh. One thing we detected is that the chest is very shown- is shown.
    00:01:58 There is no time off from being ready.
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:02:01 Table Two, Seat Five.
    00:02:03 The arm and some of the foot is dissolved.
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    Alright, excellent. I like that idea.
    00:02:13 ***FILE END***

School Details

Prairie Vista Middle School
13600 South Prairie Avenue
Hawthorne CA 90250
Population: 936

Data Provided By:



David Cooper



All Grades / All Subjects / Tch Tools

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Students / Class Culture