How to Play Race to $1 (money game with free gameboards!)

Are you looking for a way to practice counting coins and equivalent coins? Race to $1 is a fun-filled game that reinforces coins and their values. It’s easy to set up and play! I love it because not only are students learning about coins, they are practicing addition! So make sure to grab the free gameboards below, a dice, some pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, and let’s get rolling!

Materials needed to play Race to $1

In order to play the game, each student will need:

  • printable game board
  • real or plastic coins (about 5-6 of each coin)
  • a dice
I like to project the board on my screen and play as a whole group before sending students off to play with a partner

How to Play Race to $1

Once students have all of the materials needed, they can sit down with their game boards in front of them. Players will take turns rolling the die (you can use one or two dice) and placing that amount of coins on their board. So, for example, if the player rolls a ‘3’, they would place 3 pennies in the penny section of their board.

Then, the next play rolls. Let’s say they roll a ‘6’. They should put 1 nickel and 1 penny on their board. Play continues back and forth like this. Players make the appropriate trades or exchanges as they collect more coins. The object of the game is to reach–you guessed it!–one dollar!

When to Play

I like to introduce this game after students have learned about each coin and its value. I typically spend a day or two practicing counting groups of the same coins. Then, we move on to coin combinations. Around this time is a great time to introduce trading or exchanging for groups of coins with the same value.

I love to practice this game as a whole class first! We typically play students versus teacher. Then, I partner them up and have them practice together. After that, I will include it as part of a math center rotation.

Grab the FREE Game Boards

Playing math games in the classroom can be an effective way for students to practice key math skills. Whenever possible, try playing a game during or shortly after teaching a new concept to help students connect the skills with the material they’ve been learning. Games are an engaging way to review content and build problem-solving skills, plus they’re fun too! Since games get kids excited about math, they may just want to keep playing and reviewing more concepts afterward. Taking breaks between lessons to play a game is a great idea for incorporating effective math practice into your classroom.

Want some more ideas for teaching math? Click here!

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