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Home : 2002 : Feb : 13

    By Jamie

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    Hi Ana-

    I happen to be teaching coordinates right now too, and the best way I've found is to teach and play a modified form of the old Battleship game. I teach the students how to locate items on a simple "treasure map" that I draw on grid paper. Once I feel that they understand the concept (when I've drilled them on X and Y coordinates "across first, then up!"), then I give each of them a sheet of blank grid paper. As a class (with me on the overhead), we write in the numbers 1-10 across the bottom, and letters A-J vertically. Before doing this, I have them fold the paper in half so that others can't see their paper. Once I am sure that all of the students have created the grid correctly, then I have them place "ships" on their grid of different sizes from 2 dots to 5 dots. For example, one ship might be placed at coordinates (G,2) (G,3) and (G4). The students play with a partner and call out coordinates like "F,5". Their partner then has to look on their own paper to see if their "ship" has been hit at that coordinate. If it has, they say "hit," if not, they say "miss," just like Battleship.
    To make things easy, each student uses three colored pencils to mark hits/misses on their paper. Red is for a hit by an opponant to one of your own ships, blue is for a hit on your opponants board (marked on your own to keep track), and green is for a guess that did not result in a hit (to remind you not to guess that spot again).

    This took a few times with the kids to get it running smoothly, but they love it and they really understand the concept of coordinates and X and Y planes. Feel free to e-mail me if this didn't make sense to you or you want more information.

    Good luck!

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