I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

To the Peel Commission, 1937

Dice Stack

Choice Card: Dice Stack
Number Practice
Elementary aged and up
3-6 minutes
Class Size:
Energy Level:
Lots of dice, timer



Before starting I usually review a few numbers by writing a few at random on a white board. The game is simple. Players take turns rolling a dice and stacking them. Before placing one dice on top of the stack the value of the dice is added to the total. I get the players (or individual dice roller) to say the whole sum, for example:

  • Player A rolls a 3: "0 + 3 is 3"
  • Player B rolls a 6: "3 + 6 is 9"
  • Player C rolls a 1: "9 + 1 is 10"

If the stack falls over players begin again from 0. What's the highest total they can make in 3 minutes?


Multiply: For older players give them a multiplier. Write a number on the board and players use it to multiply the dice throw before adding it to the total. Simple multipliers are, of course, 10, 100, 1000. But any number within reason can be used. One interesting way of using simple multipliers is to change the units every time a threshold is reached. For example, start with single digits, then when the score is over 10 switch to 10's, then when the score reaches 100, switch to 1000's. When doing this I write the current sum but not the result on the board.

Count down: Start with a number on the board (the value depends upon the units being used), players subtract from that number. Can they reach zero before the stack falls over?


The usual way of saying a sum is to say equals. I do use equals with some groups but prefer is as a way of drawing attention to the verb be.