Tag Archives: Arlington County

“I’m gonna roll them dice…”

Last month marked the 10th Annual Arlington County ThinkFun Math Dice Tournament… and while these 5th graders wowed the crowd with their impressive mental math skills, the team spirit performances got equal billing as stars of the show!

You may recall stellar performances in years past, like last year’s Math Dice-themed version of “Proud Mary” or this 2010 rendition of Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” and this year’s competitors kept up the tradition by raising the performance bar ever higher.

The team from the  Arlington Traditional School, otherwise known as the ATS 00Dicers, showed off  impressive skills with their adaptation of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” song.  Here are the Dicers performing an encore of “Dice Shop,” with lyrics below – enjoy!

Want to sing along? Here are the lyrics!

ATS Math Dice Song - DICE SHOP Lyrics-page-001

The Rubber Chickens have Landed!

If you’ve been following my blog over the years, you may have noticed a trend around this time every year… a yellow, rubber, and VERY noisy trend!

It seems fitting that, on the warmest day we’ve had thus far, these Spring Chickens showed up at my doorstep…

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Thank you Amazon Prime! Never know when a chicken emergency will strike and 2-day shipping will come in handy!

As background, these rubber chickens are given as awards for Best Team Spirit in the Arlington County 5th Grade Math Dice Tournament that happens in May!  Now in it’s 10th year, we can’t wait to celebrate the brainy 5th graders at this year’s competition!

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While the quest for Math Dice victory means serious competition, over the years the Rubber Chicken spirit award has taken on a life of its own – and teams have gone wild preparing songs and choreographing performances in hopes of taking home one of these little guys.

Want proof? Check out this amazing performance from last year’s competition – set to the tune of “Proud Mary,” these 5th graders were “Rollin’ On a Math Dice!”

As you can see in year’s past, the arrival of the rubber chickens marks the beginning of an exciting month of preparation.  See these past posts celebrating the rubber chickens’ arrival in 2012, and in 2011!

I Throw My Dice up in the Air Sometimes…

This weekend’s 9th Annual MathDice Tournament was a tremendous success!

This year all 22 Arlington County elementary schools were represented, and we learned from coaches that making the team was more competitive than ever!  At one school, 90 5th graders wanted a shot at one of the coveted 4 spots, and the school had to hold its own pre-competition to pick the team!

The winning team from Taylor Elementary shows off their trophies!


Students and their parents, siblings, teachers, principals, and even the county superintendent all came out to celebrate the hard work and training these students put in!

Dr. Pat Murphy, Arlington Schools Superintendent, welcomes the crowd!

Teams arrived bright and early… (literally, players were camped in front of the school an hour before registration, eagerly peering in windows and giddy with excitement!). Teams huddled on the sidewalk practicing, checking out the competition, and comparing team flair!


Team "Rolling Thunder" fuels up pre-Tournament!

Students get a few final practice rolls in outside!

Students and their parents, siblings, teachers, principals, and even the count superintendent all came out to celebrate the hard work and training these students put in.  The fun began with the Individual Competition, where players competed head-to-head in round-robin match-ups.

These head-to-head challenges can be real nail-biters!

The team competition followed, and teams pooled their brain power to come up with the best possible equations given different number sets.


Teams pooling their brain power

As expected, the real fun happened in between tournament rounds, when teams showcased their flair in the Team Spirit competition!  The shot at glory (in the form of a rubber chicken) inspired the best song and dance routines we have ever seen – these kids were incredible!  This MathDice-themed rendition of Proud Mary brought down the house – check it out!


I wonder if pop star Taio Cruz would consider a MathDice-themed follow-up to his hit single “Dynamite?”  The team from Oakridge Elementary brought down the house with their version – and “I throw my dice up in the air sometimes…” has been stuck in my head ever since!

See more fun videos from the Team Spirit competition here!

More photos from this incredible event are below – enjoy!

For more, check out this great article in the Arlington Mercury.

Magical, Musical MathDice!

There is a buzz in the air around here… a buzz that sounds a whole lot like the clattering of plastic dice… MathDice!

This Saturday, ThinkFun will host the 9th Annual Arlington MathDice tournament, and 5th grade teams all over the county and practicing like crazy in anticipation of the big day!  As I’ve shared in the past, the Team Spirit award is a huge part of the fun, and one of these creative teams passed on their team cheer in advance.  This made my day, and I just had to share!



Impossible not to start humming right!?

Fair warning to the other 21 schools participating, the Long Branch Lions have their brains and vocal chords tuned and ready… better bring your A-Game!


Somebody call a doctor, these kids have… MathDice Fever!

This Saturday marked the 8th Annual ThinkFun MathDice Tournament, and what a fun-filled morning it was!  We were thrilled to welcome teams of 5th graders from 21 Arlington County elementary schools, many of whom showed up at the crack of dawn!  Arriving an hour early to find kids and their families waiting eagerly at the front door was a thrill, and the excitement these players brought was infectious!

MathDice players arrive ready for action!

Players brought costumes, parents carried signs, several volunteer musicians brought their instruments to boost the cheering squad, and another team brought the school mascot to help pump up the crowd!

The "Band of Six-Siders" Team warms up for their musical number!

If you saw video from last year’s event, you’ll recall that in addition to the Individual and Team challenges, the competition for the Spirit Award (and its coveted rubber chicken prize) is stiff.  This year players brought the fun and energy to a new level with math-themed remakes of Cee Lo’s Forget You and I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas…  an impressive showing!

Congratulations to the spirited Taylor Dice Capades team for taking home the gold… or yellow!

And congrats to this year’s winning school, Oakridge Elementary, and to the participants from all 21 schools whose impressive math skills wowed the crowds this weekend!  Enjoy more great photos from this super-fun event!


What a desk full of rubber chickens means to me…

It’s about that time again…. MathDice Time!

2011 MathDice Trophies have arrived, featuring with the coveted Rubber Chickens!

The trophies have arrived, and Math is in the air!  Each year, ThinkFun works with the 22 elementary schools in Arlington, VA to host a MathDice Tournament, and this year’s May 7th event is fast approaching!  Each school fields a team of 6 5th grade mathematicians who compete in weekly challenges for several months leading up to the big day.

Judging by the weekly scores I’ve seen, the competition this year is stiff!  I am so excited to see these Dicers go head to head in a few short weeks!

The 2010 Spirit Award Winners proudly display their prizes!

Curious to see a MathDice Tournament in action?  Check out my post with photos and video from last year’s competition and see what it takes to win the coveted Rubber Chicken spirit award!


These MathDice Players are on a ROLL!

Saturday marked the 7th Annual  Math Dice Competition in Arlington, VA!

This incredible event brings together teams of 5th grade math lovers from local elementary schools (21 schools participated this year!) for a high-energy competition!  Players train for months, completing weekly challenges and honing their skills in preparation for the big event… and it shows!

Players compete first in a head-to-head competition, and this year we had 2 undefeated players tie for the title of MathDice Individual Champ!

After the Individual Competition, teams work together on 5 rounds of complex MathDice problems, submitting their scores to a panel of judges.  Team Champions are crowned, and this year’s champs, the Tuckahoe Elementary Matherminds – well done!

Prizes are also awarded for best Team Name and best Team Spirit, judged during the Cheering Portion of the event!  Each team takes center stage, presenting a special chant or song and dance they’ve created! Congrats to this year’s winners… the Glebe Elementary “X Factor” for best team name, and the Taylor Elementary MathMagicians who won the Spirit award (and received the coveted rubber chicken prize!)

The Taylor MathMagicians

The Glebe X Factor

You really haven’t lived until you’ve heard a the MathDice remake of Queen’s “We Are The Champions”

“Nooooo time for looooosing cause we are the champions….. of MathDice!”

To REALLY get a sense of the energy and excitement this event generates, check out this great video ThinkFun CEO Bill Ritchie created documenting this year’s Competition!

Are you a teacher or parent interested in using MathDice to stretch your child’s math skills?  We’ve got fabulous free resources and extension games available for download!