The goal of this lesson is to fine-tune the skills that we have recently spent a great deal of time emphasizing at the conceptual level. Skill building and attention to detail are important in mathematics, and this activity will allow the students the time to practice this at their own pace – and competitively.
The following Math Practice Standards are also highly emphasized in this activity:
MP.3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
MP.6: Attend to precision
It is important that the desks are set up such that the students can face each other – and a divider must also be built in between these desks (I usually just use a folder) so that the students cannot see each other’s papers.
Optional Suggestion: I found it to be very helpful to foster an atmosphere of collaboration in this activity. To achieve this, I made certain that the desks were not only facing each other, but also lined up in a way such that students could collaborate with peers on same side of the table. That is, although students work individually, each side solves the same problems for their shots at the opponent - who sits on the other side of the table. This allows the students to offer each other support when I am helping students in another area of the classroom.
Scaffolding can be readily provided throughout the period as the teacher rotates the room to answer questions. The students will also support each other (those who share the same boards) in their mission to sink all of the other person’s ships.
I found it very helpful to use my IPAD and AppleTV to show the students how to put ships on their paper, and well as to direct their attention to specific problems for instruction. All you have to do is take a picture of the Battleship papers and you are ready to go!
1) markers or colored pencils (2 per person)
2) colored copy paper (4 different colors)
Typically this battleship game takes the entire period, however, on the rare occasion that students finish early I instruct them to begin work on the next activity of their final project.
Please note: This will be posted in a separate unit folder of my BetterLesson course! This summer, I am going to re-work aligning it to the Common Core.