Wednesday, November 6, 2013

International Naval Warfare! (aka Battleship :)

If you found this post, you may want to read the previous two posts about how my students and @Capt_KK students in Perth, Australia are participating in a global classroom.

Here are links to all 7 posts in this series:

Learning with Tomorrow
Connecting our Classrooms via Daily Emails
International Naval Warfare
Connecting our Classrooms - Weekly Video Series
Student Success Stories
Future Plans
How To Connect YOUR Classroom

This post explains through pictures how we are playing battleship via email and how math is connected. In addition to plotting coordinates and discussing ordered pairs, the students and I have focused on discussing the probability of each shot. I teach two sessions of math, so Jaqui separated her class into two teams as well. Altogether, there are four teams: US Gray vs. Australia Gray and US Scarlet vs. Australia Scarlet.  We send one shot (coordinate) per team to each other each day.

My students record shots on the following handout:

(The below posts are copied from the class blog I write for my students' parents:)
Battleship - Week 1

 After six misses, the Australian gray team located one of our ships and now has two hits. We're wondering how long it will take them to sink the ship! They have a 25% chance of getting a hit on their next shot!
 After six misses, Abbey finally located one of the Australian ships. Casey had a 25% chance but missed. Hopefully, Heather's shot will be on target! The probability of getting a hit has risen to 33.3%
 Poor Australian Scarlet students....They are 0 for 9! Their chances are getting higher with every shot and hopefully they will get a hit soon! Their board looks much different than our Scarlet team below! 
Sorry about the orientation here. 
The scarlet team is rocking it! They sunk their first ship with their first four shots! AMAZING! Although, it was EXTREMELY UNLIKELY they still did it! The first shot was only an 18% chance and Kurtis somehow found a ship. Ms. Korten said that she think he's a spy :) I wonder if their luck has run out because since hitting four shots in a row, they've missed four chances! We'll have to see what happens!
Battleship - Week 2
 As you will see, all four teams FINALLY have hits. It's great to talk about the probability and success of each team as the weeks go on!
The gray team found one ship, but they have taken FOUR extra shots trying to locate the direction of the ship. This was very frustrating for the students because the probability was high, but they kept missing. However, they have a 100% chance on their next three shots until they sink the pink "L shaped" ship!

 The Australian gray team has sunk a ship and unbelievably hit another ship with their next shot. Again, a very unlikely chance but they did it!

Although our scarlet team started out strong, we are on a losing streak. This team started out 4 for 4, but since have missed 9 in a row! The probability slightly increases with each miss, but the students are desperately hoping that Hannah's shot at (0.5, 0.2) is a hit!
The Scarlet Australia team FINALLY got a hit after 12 straight misses! We figured that the students should roughly get one hit for every five shots aimed into open water. They are on their way to sinking the ship in the upper right hand corner and should have it sunk by the end of next week!

So, that's our journey playing battleship so far!  In addition to discussing probability and plotting coordinates, we also send the order pairs as both decimals and fractions so they students will get used to equivalent decimals and fractions.

I would recommend playing this game. It's very simple, takes less than 5 minutes per class period and the math discussion is very rich and worthwhile. It would be very difficult to play between other classes in the same school because students may give away the location of the ships, but it's very easy to play with another school via email - even if that school is halfway around the world! 

Stay tuned for more posts about our global classroom. Next up I will discuss our weekly video sharing project.

Interested in creating a global classroom? Follow the #globalclassroom and #flatclass hashtags on Twitter for ideas from educators around the globe!  Here are just a few others I follow that continuously provide excellent global classroom resources:  @flatclassroom and @julielindsay.

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