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Battleship is a classic game of strategy and logic kids of all ages love to play.  Best of all, it is a great to play in your maths class as it teaches students how to use acartesian planeand understand how to use co-ordinates on a grid.

I have made up two PDF versions of the classic battleship game you can download and print

The first one is thetraditional battleship gameand the second one is the slightly more advanced4 quadrant version of Battleshipwhich is more suited to secondary students.

"You just sunk my Battleship!"


Classic Battleships Game - Great for Maths


Battleships is a great game for teaching students about using co-ordiantes and understanding chance and data.

Give each player a pencil and printout the gameboard which we got from The top grid is for your own fleet ("My Ships") and the bottom grid is where you try to locate the other player's fleet ("Their Ships").

First you decide where to place your own fleet within your grid. A fleet is made up of one Aircraft Carrier, one Battleship, one Cruiser, two Destroyers and two Submarines. Each type of ship covers a different number of boxes in the grid, as shown on the print-out, and is drawn vertically or horizontally (not diagonally). Ships cannot occupy the same square.

To place a ship, check how many boxes are covered by the ship (shown to the left of your grid) and then write the first letter of the name of the ship in the boxes it covers. For example, a Cruiser covers three boxes so you would pick any three adjacent boxes and put the letter C in each box. Keep your fleet location secret from your oponent! When each player has marked their fleet on their grid, begin play.

Take turns to “shoot” at your opponents’ fleet by calling out the number of a certain box by its grid location. For example, you could call out "B4" or "D1". Your opponent must say whether the shot is a "miss" or a "hit", and, if it is a "hit", what type of ship it is. You can keep track of what you have shot on your lower grid, and the ships you have sunk by crossing off the ships at the bottom right of your print-out.
Play continues until one player wins by successfully sinking the whole of the other player's fleet.


Make my number - Choosing and using operations / Equations

Thanks to Michael Ymer for this game best suited to students from year 4 onwards.

Students can play in pairs or groups of four.

Deck of cards with Jokers included but all picture cards removed. All cards have face value with the Ace representing 1. The Joker is wild and can represent any number from 1 to 10.

Six cards are dealt face up between two or more students. The seventh card or the next card on the deck is the target number. Students are challenged to make as many equations as possible using combinations of the six cards displayed to equal the target number. They must write the equations down. Encourage students to begin using simple equations to make the target number and then extend to using more than one operation, brackets, order of operations, negative numbers, square root , decimal notation etc. A scoring system can be used earning extra points for using more cards in the eqations or using operations other than addition and subtraction. Place a time limit of perhaps 3 or 4 minutes per game. Students tally their points to see how they went. Discard these cards and play again using the next seven numbers. It may be worth modelling this activity with the whole class from the front and everybody using the same set of numbers.

Maths Card Game - More / less / the same - Place value

Thankyou to Michael Ymer for this great game suitable for students from Prep to Year 6.

Card game for groups of four. Remove picture cards and jokers. Deal each child 6 cards. Cards left placed in the middle and turn the top one over.

Taking turns the children place a card down according to

* same number. * one more or one less. * two more or two less. * double the number

* half the number

The child must verbalise the choice they have made to discard and why. If a card cannot be discarded then a card is picked up from the deck.

First to discard all their cards wins the game.


Discard two or more cards that add up to the card displayed.                                  

Include the Joker with the value of zero.

Include the picture cards with the values   Jack  11     Queen 12      King  13

Math Card Game - Highest / Lowest - Place value

Thanks to Michael Ymer again for this game suitable for students from Year 1 to Year 6.

For this activity each pair will need a deck of cards and  two game boards that can be pre made or quickly drafted up on scrap paper. The game board needs to have enough room to lay three or more cards out side by side. It needs to be labelled units, tens, hundreds etc. Game boards can be made and laminated.

Two students place a deck of cards in front of them face down. Remove the Kings,  Jacks, Tens and Jokers. The Ace represents the number one and the Queen represents a zero. All other cards are face value. 

Students take it in turn selecting a card at a time and placing it in one of the columns on their game board. The objective is to make the biggest possible number. Once a student decides to place a card in a column it cannot be changed. Children need to read the number out as it is progressively being built. Teachers may wish to assess a student’s ability to read numbers by asking him/her to press a number on the calculator and read it. If successful press another and so on. This will tell you if a child can read 2, 3, or more digit numbers and can help pair students appropriately. Allow children to play game one digit further than they can read so that learning can be extended.

Variations….smallest numbers, largest odd, using more or less than three columns. decimals.

Maths Card Game 10 in a row - Choosing and using operations

Thanks to Michael Ymer for another great game suitable for students from Prep to Year 6.

Children play game in pairs. All picture cards removed leaving numbers 1 – 10.

Place 10 cards face up in a row. The remainder of the deck kept together face down. Students take it in turn rolling a ten sided dice [ Can use a six sided dice ]. Using the number that is displayed the student is challenged to use combinations of cards to equal the number. Cards used to make the answer are collected and kept by each student and then replaced from the deck. The game continues until all cards have been used. Young children will use addition / subtraction to make answers using two cards. Older or more able students can use any combination of operations, decimals, negative numbers, fractions, order of operations etc and use up to five cards. Students need to articulate how they make the answer, trying to gather more cards than their partner.


Use six sided dice. Offer counters that can be added to total collection of cards at end of game for using operations and signs other than addition or subtraction.

Roll two dice making a two digit number as the target.