Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pirate Math - Pirates vs. Ninjas!

One of the favorite activities in my classroom last year was a surprisingly simple game that I created to help my students practice comparing numbers. It was called "Pirates vs. Ninjas - The Epic Battle Continues!" The title is a play off of an internet activity where people argued about who would win in a battle, pirates or ninjas. I was amazed how many of my students knew about the activity and how sound their arguments were for each side. Then again, these were the kids who knew every character in Lord of the Rings and "Doctor Who."

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The game came with two decks of cards, one for Pirates and one for Ninjas. Each card had either a 3-digit or 4-digit number. Two students played the game and each one had a deck. Each student would flip over a card from the deck and compare the number with that of his partner. The student with the largest number would collect both cards. After playing through the deck (about 24 cards), the student with the most cards was declared the winner.

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To help promote accountability and to check for understanding of the skill, I provided the students with a recording sheet. The students were to write down their own numbers and the numbers of their partner. They would then use the inequality symbols (<, >, and =) to indicate if their own numbers were greater than, less than, or equal to the number of their partner. I would collect this sheet and look to see if the students had an understanding of the concept of comparing numbers. Obviously, every student page would be different from the next, but looking at the work turned in provided me with a glimpse of how well each of my students understood the concept.

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"Pirates vs. Ninjas!" is really one of my favorite games. Even after we were finished with our place value unit, it was popular during Math Games and Math Centers. I get a lot of feedback on the game and many of the teachers tell me how excited they are to use this game with their boy students. I had girls who loved to play as well. You would do well to add this game to your math classroom.

"Pirates vs. Ninjas! - A Comparing Numbers Game is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for $3.00.

For some other great Pirate products, please visit Teaching Momster to see what other teachers are using in their classrooms.

1 comment :

  1. What an awesome, simple game! And, I love that you included a recording sheet so we can get a "peek" into their thinking (not to mention it holds them more accountable!). Thanks for linking up for my Math Madness Wednesday, pirate edition!

    Teaching Momster