Tag Archives: MathDice Tournament

“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!

Bring a MathDice Tournament to your classroom!

For the past several years, I have shared the fun of the annual Arlington County MathDice Tournament.  This county-wide event brings together students who have been practicing and playing Thinkfun’s MathDice game for months in preparation, and the skill level, determination, and often off-the-wall wacky team spirit is always inspiring!

For a refresher, check out last year’s MathDice-themed performance of Proud Mary!

This year, ThinkFun decided to package the Tournament experience so teachers worldwide could easily recreate the fun and learning that competition brings!  I am extremely proud of the MathDice Tournament Kit we’ve created, and I am thrilled to know this great learning game will help more students get excited about math!

I recently made a quick video explaining the basic MathDice game and sharing the contents of this new kit – you can check it out here!

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!


Rubber chicken playing MathDice

Counting My (Rubber) Chickens

Spring is in the air, which makes it fitting that I opened a package yesterday filled with… Spring Chickens!  More specifically,  a box of springy, squawking,  rubber chickens!

Box O' Chickens!

With the 9th Annual MathDice Tournament upon us, we’re busily gathering games, trophies, challenges… and the arrival of these rubbery feathered friends kicked the anticipation into high gear!  Wondering what rubber chickens could possibly have to do with a celebration of mental math?!  Not the most obvious of connections, so here’s my post from last year’s tournament prep to bring you up to speed!

Rubber chicken playing MathDice

Getting in a few practice rounds before the big day...


After a few trial squeezes around the office, I think I may have bested last year’s chickens with this new batch.  The squawking is louder and more frantically obnoxious than ever – think “chicken-in-a-blender” – sorry in advance to the parents of this year’s Team Spirit winners!


Looking forward to sharing more details and photos from this fantastic event in a few short weeks!

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!