Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Goods and Services

Mrs. Rumpf's 2nd grade class has been studying goods and services in their Social Studies lessons. We took this opportunity to integrate Minecraft as part of their learning!

The students joined a flat, creative world and decided whether to work alone or in teams. Each group or individual chose a good or service to offer and built a store or other building to "sell" their products. (There is a mod you can load that allows a monetary economy, but we decided that was unnecessary for this lesson)

There were lots of great ideas! We had hotels, bakeries, a blacksmith, bookstores and even a roller coaster! Students who finished their buildings early helped to connect the stores with sidewalks and streetlamps. The student creating the rollercoaster decided to expand his coaster so that it toured the entire village!

The village from above

Creating fantastic street lamps

A lovely bookstore

The interior of the bookstore

Aerial view of the roller coaster

An incredible hotel

A very modern-looking bakery

These buildings turned out really well. Hard to believe they were created by second graders!

Catching Up

It's been a very busy end-of-year season! Let me catch up on all our Minecraft happenings!

I've been working with 3rd graders on using MinecraftEdu to demonstrate their knowledge of volume. Minecraft is perfect for this! The students learned about volume prior to coming to the lab. When they arrived, they sat down on the floor and we discussed the rules for using Minecraft (this is a crucial step if you want kids to stay focused!). I demonstrated how to complete the assignment by building a very basic rectangular house and calculating its volume. Then we set the kids loose in a flat, creative-mode world to show what they know. The students and teachers did a fantastic job!

Load their worlds and take a look!  Monarch's world and Sleuth's world

Creating houses

This is fun!

Volume houses and Herobrine

Working together on an emerald house

Other Happenings:
  • Ms. Ferriola, one of our TAG teachers, has been using Minecraft quite a bit on her own with her classes! She is able to launch a server, load a world, and save it successfully! It's going to be awesome having another staff member capable of being a server admin. 
  • A small group of 5th graders has been working on a tutorial world to teach the rest of their class how to play Minecraft. They started with a basic world I created to use with teachers and modified it to suit their needs. They teach their class tomorrow morning and they're very excited!
  • One of our 5th graders recently completed a IIM research project on castles. What better way to show his learning than Minecraft? He created a multi-level castle complete with moat, stables, defensive walls, and escape tunnels! 
  • One thing I learned recently is that I need this rule: Do not throw objects or potions at other players. A couple of students in each class would get distracted and fly through the air throwing snowballs or potions at other players. In fact, I tell each class not to even use the potions at all unless they can give me a reasoned argument for why the potions are needed.