The goal of this lesson is to fine-tune the algebraic 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.
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.
Create the Battle Templates: Select 50 problems for review. Place the first 25 selected problems on the MY SHOTS ALPHA VERSION and the corresponding answers on the MY FLEET BETA VERSION. Place the remaining 25 problems on the MY SHOTS BETA VERSION and their corresponding answers on the MY FLEET ALPHA VERSION. This can get a little tricky until you find your rhythm! I recommend hiding the other two sheets that you are not working on so that you do not get confused. Once you play this game a few times in class, however, it becomes really simple to create and operate.
Optional Suggestion #1: 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.
Optional Suggestion #2: 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!
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.
1) markers or colored pencils (2 per person)
2) colored copy paper (4 different colors)
First, you must determine how many ships of each kind you want the students to have. Obviously, the fewer ships that are in the fleet, the less likely the students are to hit each other. If you are just getting started, I would recommend the following:
2 One Space Ships
2 Two Space Ships
1 Three Space Ship
However, feel free to change this from class to class to see what works best for you!
Once you have determined how many ships the students will have in their fleet, it is time for them to place their ships. Students place their allotted ships on the MY FLEET page - - these are the other students answers that match to the problems that they are doing… it is an arranged answer key, if you will. The templates have been provided for you and all you have to do is fill them in with the problems and answers of your choosing! I have the students color in the positions of their ships with a colored pencil. These ships can be placed vertically, horizontally, and/or diagonally.