Turning Minecraft into Mathcraft
Minecraft is the greatest thing to hit our kids virtually in our local classrooms. If you’re an educator read on, and if you are a parent keep reading to see how your kids will become empowered through Minecraft. This is what could be happening in your local classroom!
To be honest with you, I was a sceptic at first, gawking at the belief that an expensive app was really that great. But, to tell you the truth it is awesome! Let me tell you why!
I believe that this game is a wonderful educational tool, when used properly. This is my first Minecraft post to talk about Minecraft as an educational and inspirational way to teach kids. My students coined the term “Mathcraft” because we were using it in Math. If you are a parent, educator, or someone interested with intergrating Minecraft into young peoples’ lives then get comfortable.
I teach Grade Threes and Fours (seven to nine-year-olds). In the Fall, when I asked students who plays Minecraft, I had 20 out of 23 students put up their hands. If you want to learn more about the app, then click HERE.
Minecraft is a virtual world where the user creates, builds and destroys his environment with virtual materials. Played online, through an app, and through a version where schools can pay to let kids create, this software has many different platforms. In my class I use the Minecraft app on the school iPads.
I have seen some wonderful things from an awesome Biome presentation by a student using Minecraft (click HERE to view it). I also have a current student travelling 45 minutes to go to an Art Gallery called the Grunt Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia to create a Minecraft creation to turn it into a 3-D piece of Art displayed in an art gallery (click HERE to learn more through their Gruntcraft YouTube channel).
A Lesson in Perimeter and Area
Learning how to use Minecraft takes time, and I still don’t know how to fly in the air, however I know that the building materials used are cubes. I decided to teach Perimeter and Area using Minecraft last school year and I have had a number of teachers ask me for what I did. At the time plans for our new playground were being created, so I got the students to create virtual platforms for their virtual playgrounds.
I first ask students to draw their platforms on a piece of grid paper with their group. Expectations for Grade Three students include understanding Perimeter, whereas Grade Four expectations include Area within their learning outcomes. Here’s what I did.
- They had to construct their platforms using unifix cubes.
- And after I checked over their assignment and then their unifix cubes, I then allowed them to create their playgrounds in Minecraft.
- Here is the overview lesson. Click HERE to see the Google document or the image below to see my overview of my expectations.
- I assessed the students primarily through monitoring their progression through the stages in my formative assessment. My summative assessment was primarily based on a rubric. Click HERE to see my Google doc rubric.
- After the students created their own virtual playgrounds, then they presented infront of the class. I used the software Reflector to show their iPads through the projector, and then I used Quicktime screen recording. I screen recorded each of their presentations and then edited their work through iMovie software. In the end, uploaded it to YouTube. You can view our presentations here:
Stay tuned for more posts, as we did a unit on Maps and turned Minecraft into Mapcraft.