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Subject: PlaySmart Dice - Roll Smarter! rss

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Andy Howell
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You can check out the project here.

I've been playing dice games with my 4th and 2nd graders to drill arithmetic into their heads. My buddy Jim and I have worked up a set of D12s without ones and twos, to take away the "easier" arithmetic operations. The simple games we've developed have really helped the kids with times tables and number fluency. Now we want to offer these dice to everybody!

Here's the KS blurb:

Play Smarter When You Game:

Six-sided dice are surprisingly inefficient at reinforcing math fact fluency.

PlaySmart dice eliminate the easiest math facts children learn at a very early age, deemphasize easier combinations they learn shortly thereafter, and focus on number combinations many of today's high school students never acquire a fluency for. These dice also teach a natural sense of probability distribution and can be adapted to more advanced games involving the hardest to learn multiplication combinations as our child gamers grow.


Use PlaySmart Dice in original base games we have developed, existing board games and RPGs, and help introduce them into your local schools with games that are great in classroom settings.
 
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Ian Toltz
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You should make it more obvious that these aren't just regular 12-sided dice. I had to watch half way through the video before you explained what was different about them, and I only did that because I found it shocking that someone would actually put out a kickstarter for 12-sided dice.
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Andy Howell
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Thanks! Great catch, updated.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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Asmor wrote:
You should make it more obvious that these aren't just regular 12-sided dice. I had to watch half way through the video before you explained what was different about them, and I only did that because I found it shocking that someone would actually put out a kickstarter for 12-sided dice.


To be even clearer, you need to explicitly state exactly what is on each of the twelve sides of the dice.
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M.C.Crispy
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I had absolutely no idea what this KS project was about other than "educational dice". Completely turned me off and couldn't be bothered to watch the video. Way to lose backers. Sorry.
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Randall Bart
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You're teaching first grade math. Have you ever heard of flash cards? What do your dice do that flash cards didn't do a century ago?
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M.C.Crispy
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Barticus88 wrote:
You're teaching first grade math. Have you ever heard of flash cards? What do your dice do that flash cards didn't do a century ago?
Dude, you get to roll dice! Flash cards? So last century!
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Andy Howell
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Seriously guys, thanks so much for the unfiltered feedback. We've updated and integrated all of your valuable comments.
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M.C.Crispy
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Certainly better, but I think that you are too close to the project to judge whether it communicates properly. For instance WTF is "math fact fluency"? Sounds like some US educationalist jargon mumbo-jumbo. Tells me nothing about whether I might want to buy it for my kids in the UK.

I think that you some 12-sided dice that are numbered 3-8 twice and 4-9 twice and that rolling these dice in maths-based games allows kids to practice their "times tables" and other arithmetic skills on the numbers that they don't practice so often.

*I think* that's what you have.

But we need more info on the games 'cos that video made it look really lame. "Roll the dice and see if yours make 11". I can see why it takes a food-based incentive to get kids to play
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Renate Cloake
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AndyHowell wrote:
Seriously guys, thanks so much for the unfiltered feedback. We've updated and integrated all of your valuable comments.

I love the video - your kids are very cute! I can see that there is a good reason for these dice and I hope your project does well, but I think that it would help if you put in the text of the page exactly what the dice are. You explain it in the video, but it doesn't come across very well in the text.

Edit: ninja by mccrispy - I had the page open for a while before I replied. He said pretty much what I was thinking but failing to put into words.
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Andy Howell
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Thanks again for the feedback guys, we continue to iterate and improve thanks to your thoughtful comments.
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M.C.Crispy
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AndyHowell wrote:
Thanks again for the feedback guys, we continue to iterate and improve thanks to your thoughtful comments.
That, my friend, is a whole lot better! Nice one!
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Randall Bart
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Now that you have revealed the number distribution, I discover these are functionally d6s. Wouldn't it be cheaper to get d6s made?

Flash cards have answers on the back. When it comes to teaching math, I don't see what this product offers at all.
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M.C.Crispy
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Barticus88 wrote:
Now that you have revealed the number distribution, I discover these are functionally d6s. Wouldn't it be cheaper to get d6s made?

Flash cards have answers on the back. When it comes to teaching math, I don't see what this product offers at all.
D12s roll a lot better than D6s. Sometimes it's fun to try a different way of doing things. I'd be surprised if flash cards were a universally successful approach. We used to write letters. Now we have The Internet.
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Andy Howell
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Randall, you're correct on all points. The distribution is six numbers repeated. Our patent pending actually covers a six-sided version so that's a possibility as well. We got the idea from Matt Fleming's Doublesix Dice, 12-sided D6s, which some people may find more fun to roll than D6s. Big 25mm D12s have a nice novelty factor which my kids have enjoyed. I keep them near the table and we play a couple basic games after dinner.

Flash cards have taught many kids basic math over the years for sure. With flash cards you generally set aside half the deck pretty quick, and it's tougher to gameify flash cards. The math teachers at our elementary school use both flash cards and dice (traditional D6s) for reinforcement.

These dice have been more successful for my kids than flash cards, so maybe some other parents and teachers will also find them useful.
 
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