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Race to the Top

Alignments to Content Standards: K.CC.A.3


The teacher will need a sheet of 1 inch graph paper turned sideways (horizontally) with the numbers 0-9 written one in each box in the bottom row along the 11” side of the paper (one copy per student) and a 10 sided number die (0-9) or a 0-9 spinner.


The student rolls a number using the die or spinner and writes that number in the next box of the corresponding column. Students start at the bottom of the page and work to the top. Each time the student rolls/spins a number he/she will write the number on the paper in the next corresponding box. The winning number is the first to make it to the top of the paper. Students can also work in pairs.

IM Commentary

  • If students need more support in writing the numerals initially, number writing stamps can be found at teacher material stores and can be used. These stamps can be found with dotted spacing that allows students to trace the numbers. Tracing numbers can be stamped from the bottom of the board to mid-way up the game board, leaving only the last couple of squares blank so students can write the numerals on their own.

  • To ensure students are focused on number identification along with numeral formation, be sure to question students as they play the game about which number is winning and what number they rolled. Take care not to give the number name, for example “which number is winning?” rather than “I see 4 is winning.”

  • Papers can be laminated; have the students use dry erase markers or crayons to write so that the game board may be re-used.


Numbers are rolled and written down until one of the numbers has been rolled enough times to fill in all the boxes in a column on the graph paper going from one of the 11” sides to the other (bottom to top).

A variety of numbers 0-20 that need to be practiced can be targeted by changing the numbers on the paper and making a new spinner to match. Suggested ranges are 0-9, 6-15, 12-21. A larger version can also be made on 1"inch graph chart paper with the numbers 0-20 and played in a small group.

The game can also incorporate quantity by having 2-12 on the game board and rolling two 1-6 dot dice. In this version, students wold add the two quantities shown on the dice. When students are ready, a number die and a dot die can be used. For a simpler game leave the paper vertical and only work with the numbers 1-6 with a regular dot die.