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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teaching Tip: Decahedron and Other Whiteboard Dice

whiteboard dice
Decahedron Whiteboard Die
I am constantly on the lookout for exciting new ideas to make lessons and practices fun. Although this teaching tip does not involve a new idea, it is a fun idea and may be new for many students and parents.

I use a decahedron die. This is a 10-sided die, and there are five faces on the bottom and five faces on the top as you see in the picture. What is special about this particular die is that the surfaces are whiteboard and can be written on with a dry erase marker, and then erased and changed. That means this die is particularly useful for different students and situations.

For example, the other day I had a young student who is sometimes difficult to focus on lesson tasks. I used this die at the beginning of the lesson, and the student and I put together a list of 10 things that we wanted to do in the lesson. We included some fun things, and mom suggested one or two things that she thought he needed help with, and I added a few new things that I wanted to work on or build on from previous lessons. And finally, we put a star on one of the sides, and this side would represent something different. We decided that if the student threw the die and it landed with the star side up, whoever was the first person to call out an activity would be the winner.

In practice, this game was a lot of fun. Whenever the student threw the die and it landed on the star, it was very entertaining to see how quickly he would shout out his favorite activity. As we got better with the game, I would try to beat him at calling out an activity. When we completed each activity, we erased that item from the die so that it was blank again. We also had the option of writing an additional activity if we preferred.

There are many such whiteboard dice. Here are some links to several that I use in the studio. These are affiliate links, which means they benefit the blog but they are no additional cost to you. If you are in the market for these items, please consider using the links to help support the blog and my writing. I greatly appreciate it!

Magnetic Dry Erase Whiteboard Die

Magnetic Whiteboard Dice (set of 4 smaller)

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----

© 2016 by Paula E. Bird


  1. Thank you! I use this game in my studio and at group class, but made with a cardboard box that I get from a shipping store. It has to be an exact cube. I then cover the box with paper and write with permanent marker, instructions like: Pizzicato, Forte, Pianissimo, Play on your partner's violin, play while laying on the floor, or any number of other instructions. The problem is that I can't change them like you can on a white board. I am so excited to see this! Where did you find the decahedron, I can't find it in the links. So EXCITED to try this at my very first group class!

    1. I couldn't find the Decahedron. I called around asking stores, but no luck. I posted links to the cubes. The group of 4 colored whiteboard cubes work great. Each color can be a set of related skills.