# Race to the Top: Kinder Observations

Last week I posted a game called “Race to the Top”. I was able to play the game with all of the students in my son’s kindergarten class. I was one of the stations during center time, and had between 4-6 students each rotation. We kept them 15 min per station, which seemed enough time for their engagement. (One group ran at 20 min and it was too long.) Each person at my station had their game card (see links below for options) and each pair had one number cube (labeled either 0-5, 1-6, or 5-10) and one dot die (1-6 dots).

Here are a few observations and patterns of misunderstandings.

1. Counting different representations is tough! The students were used to having to ‘add’ (i.e. count one-by-one) two dot dice, but hadn’t yet used a number cube WITH a dot die. When we started to play, at least one in each group said their sum was 2, no matter what was on the dice. This is because there were 2 dice. It only took a few rolls for all of them to get the hang of it.
2. For this time of year, the 0-5 number cube was too easy (with the exception of 1 pair of students). I would use the 6-10, as most of our misconceptions surfaced once they passed the number 10. Here are the misconceptions after 10.

## Example: 9 + 5 dots

• Misconception 1 (counted backwards from their number):  “9…8, 7, 6, 5, 4.”
• Misconception 2 (started counting by 10’s):  “9…10, 20, 30, 40.”
• Misconception 3 (counted them separately and got stuck): “9 and 5…pause…”
• Misconception 4 (wanted to put 14 squares on the game board, not see it as one-14)

After about 2 minutes of playing with me direct instructing, the students were successfully independent, taking turns and excited to see what their value was. In 15 minutes, I was able to watch, assess, and intervene every child in my group several times. They were engaged and excited to be playing. We averaged 18 sums per player in the 15 min, which is a LOT of addition!

## Favorite Quotes of the Day

• You cheated! You can’t keep rolling until you get your number! (This would have been me as a child!)
• Wait. We can’t play anymore? Awe.
• I only need two more 12’s to win! You need two more 7’s! It’s a tie! (I get giddy when students do more math than asked!)
• Thanks for playing games with us, Chris’ Mom!

Game Board for 0-10 (Change as needed depending on the number choices for your dice)

Race to the Top Game Board