I met with Mrs. Hall's class for a second Minecraft session, and this time we focused entirely on learning the controls for Creative mode. The project we are beginning soon will be made in creative mode, so it was necessary that everyone be comfortable moving around and placing blocks.
First we met on the floor like always, and we discussed our rules. Everybody agreed that they were still applicable, and we didn't need to make any modifications. I demonstrated a couple of important things to know, like how to fly up and down and how to choose a block from the Creative inventory. We also discussed the answers to a few questions the class had written after our first meeting. These were the questions:
How do you send messages to your friends?
How do you dig?
Do we need villagers in our city?
How do you get a block and put it in your backpack or hand?
How do you teleport yourself?
How do you see yourself?
How do you drink potions?
Can you have animals in the city? (cows, ducks, pigs)
If you want to make a building can you add a cave on top to make it have more details?
Many of the questions were answered by the resident 1st grade Minecraft experts. I couldn't remember how to see yourself, so that was a good opportunity to let the students take the lead. I told them that we would all have to figure it out together!
We got the students logged in to the server. I chose to use this map from the world library, because it would give each student a space to work without having to worry about other kids building right next to them. (Eventually I'd like to modify this map to make it easier for kids to find their own areas, using portals or teleportation stations or something - I'm still thinking about this)
The challenge today was for the students to build a house. This usually works well for a first challenge because it allows each person to challenge themselves based on their abilities (and I talked about this to the kids before we left the carpet). The kids who already know how to play Minecraft can build elaborate structures, while those who are just learning can feel accomplished with making four walls and a door.
The students did a great job working hard to make their structures. I think they are ready to begin our math project - Block City! Look for more information on that one soon!