Pocket Change: Math and Coin Toss

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In this activity, learners will play a coin toss game where the highest total wins. Combine coin recognition, addition, and probability with a game learners can play on their own. On each round, each learner tosses a set of coins and find the total of those that land heads up. Highest total wins the round. Five rounds take the game. Try playing with coins from different countries, or for more challenge, play until one person has a total of 100. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Game


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 5–7 coins (US or other) of different values


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Probability
    • Number and Operations
      • Number Systems
      • Operations

Informal Categories

  • Financial Literacy
  • Games


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Mixing in Math


  • , © 2010, TERC, Inc., MA., 2010

Funding Source:

  • NSF, ESI-0406675 and DRL-0713537