Thursday, October 9, 2014

New Dice Game: Variation on "Race to 100"

There's a K-6 class (20 kids total) at my kid's school and I know their teacher Jen is always looking for activities that are adaptable for this wide age range. Plus, she's game for just about anything! That's why, when I came up with a variation on the "Race to 100" hundreds chart game the other day I just knew her class would be the perfect testing ground.

Race to 100 (or whatever other number you choose) is essentially adding or multiplying three dice then flipping a coin to determine whether you have to halve that number (tails) or double it (heads).  When I tried out the basic rules w/ my 9yo she got bored quickly which made me wonder what *could* keep a kid interested in playing?

It was fun to hear this afternoon how Jen's class took the game and ran with it -- so many different rules and variations!

Below is Jen's write-up on her class blog (password protected) of all the wonderful adaptations her class came up with on their first "roll" through the game.  She's going to do this again next week some time, so stay tuned for the update!


  1. Historically, dice is the plural of die, but in modern standard English,dice is both the singular and the plural: throw the dice could mean a reference to two or more dice, or to just one. In fact, the singular die (rather than dice) is increasingly uncommon.
Today the kids played variations of dice/coin flipping games.  I gave them a basic idea of how they COULD play and it was up to them to come up with the rules that fit their ability.
The Basics:  Choose three dice.  Add or multiply them in any order.  Flip a coin.  Heads means double your answer.  Tails means half your answer.  Add your score.  First one to 100 wins.
They had choices in dice as well:  your typical 6-sided dice, 10 sided dice, 12 sided dice, and we had one 20-sided dice.  As I walked around, here are some of the rules they made up:
K and B were multiplying a 6-sided dice, a 10-sided dice, and a 20-sided dice.  They flipped the coin:  doubled their total if heads flipped, halved their total if tails flipped.  The originally planned to play to 1000, but changed is to 3000 after B won too quickly.
A and O were adding a 12-sided dice, a 12-sided dice and a 6-sided dice.  They decided that if heads flipped on the coin, they would add 1.  If tails flipped, they would subtract 10.  They added a rule that said you should subtract 20 if your dice total was more than 10.  They played to 100.
M and C were adding their two 12-sided dice.  For the coin, heads meant +10 and tails meant -10.
Z and E added 2 6-sided dice and then multiplied their answer by a “multiple of 10″ dice.  They played to 1000.  Coin flips:  heads +10, tails -10
S and L added 3 dice (2 six sided dice and one “multiple of 10″ dice).  Coin flips:  heads x2, tails divide by 2.  They decided to play to 900.  L was having bad luck though.  When I asked how, they told me that he kept having to divide his answer because he kept flipping tails!!!
L, E, and A were playing with three dice, but the third dice, a “multiple of 10 dice” only came into play if someone flipped heads.  Apparently on E’s first turn, “she got to add 90 to her score!!!!”
The Littles played as well, rolling and adding 2 6-sided dice.  Flipping coins with heads meaning +1 and tails meaning -1.  They played to 100 and used a hundreds chart to keep track of their score.

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