Friday, October 31, 2014

Math in a Minecraft World

Mrs. Ferriola's kids are at it again. They have decided to use Minecraft as a virtual world in which to practice their math skills!

First, the class decided on the rules everyone should follow when using Minecraft during lessons (a very important step!). Then they chose which project they would like to do.

Goals and Rules for Using Minecraft

Once the students signed into Minecraft, they worked together to complete some cool math products! Check out the screenshots below:

MinecraftEdu has number blocks that helps students create problems like these. The students built their projects, then ran around and solved each other's equations. So cool!

Friday, October 17, 2014

The League: Day 2

Today our League convened for our second meeting. We began by taking a look at the ideas from last week and adding to the list. We also discussed modifying our rules from last week.

We needed to begin narrowing down the list so we could choose what to create for our showcase product. Some students felt that we could combine some of our ideas into one big project; for instance, making a maze and obstacle course at the beginning of our project and then have players continue on through a city or other set of structures.

One young lady pointed out that we should probably figure out how much time we have to complete the project, so we looked at the calendar and discovered we only really have six hours in which to work. Another student suggested we narrow down the choices by eliminating ideas that either don't make sense or are impossible to complete within that time frame. Someone else said we could choose an idea that could be completed and look great within that amount of time, and if we had time left over we could expand on that project by making it even better. Some great project management ideas going on here!

Then we took the rest of the meeting to complete a building challenge that would allow players still learning the controls a little more time to figure things out. One young man challenged everyone to build the best house they could create, so we launched a flat, creative world and set to work.

After ten minutes - quick builders!

After 25 minutes, we had this!

What we realized at the end of our 25 minute building session was that we actually could accomplish a LOT more in a short amount of time than we originally thought. This opened up new possibilities for what we can do for our end product! We will reexamine the list of ideas next week and rethink what's possible.

The League of Extraordinary Crafters

Our Enrichment Clusters have begun for 4th and 5th graders, and our students are SO excited to be a part of the League of Extraordinary Crafters! 

We began the first meeting by discussing and agreeing upon a set of rules and expectations for how we will interact in person and in the game. (This is always the first thing that needs to be done when using Minecraft with students.) 

Here are the rules the kids came up with:
  1. We do not kill each other
  2. No griefing (don’t destroy other people’s stuff)
  3. No stealing (even if someone dies)
  4. No potion throwing
  5. Be nice! Don’t be a jerk or dark.

We will continue to examine and modify these rules as we meet. We then began a list of ideas of possible products to create for the showcase in December. Ideas included:
  • A big modern building thingy
  • Build a tutorial world 
  • Build a maze 
  • A city 
  • Big toilet with big parkour in the sewer system 
  • A bigger house than the world’s biggest Minecraft house, including the toilet 
  • Mini-games 
  • a farm with animals 
  • make a giant person and make a parkour course to retrieve a certain object 
  • Treehouse and roller coaster 
  • Medieval village with a castle and stuff

Next, we set the kids loose on the MinecraftEdu tutorial world. There were a few students who had never played on PC before, so this was a good place to differentiate for abilities. Those who were experts could move through the world at a fast pace and begin to solve the puzzles, while the newbies could figure out the controls.

Touring the Tutorial World

The time went by very quickly and the students were reluctant to leave. That's a sign they enjoyed their cluster!