Minecraft Makershop: Year 2, Day 2

After recuperating from an exhausting day yesterday, I was ready for day 2 of the workshop. Something seemed to hit me though: my lessons that I had already prepared via hyperdocs weren’t good enough. I repeat, they weren’t good enough! I happened to look over my hyperdoc again this morning and it hit me: the section where I was to teach students about various build ideas was too long. I had multiple areas to cover, and if I wanted to cover them well, I couldn’t just lecture the kids forever. I also couldn’t skimp over this part, which I had improved on from last year.

With only a few hours to revamp the section, and no time to really sit and think things through, I began the process. I did what I tend to do best- change my lesson on the fly because something about it won’t work, and it took me until just then to realize it.

Originally, Activity 3’s hyperdoc called for me to teach students the following to students:

  • Shapes for foundations other than squares
  • Symmetry
  • Roofing designs
  • Floor designs
  • Layering
  • Aesthetics
  • Lighting
  • Furniture

As you can see, it’s quite a lot to take in for a middle school student. If you’re familiar with Minecraft, then you know it’s a lot to teach someone in one go. So I broke it down into parts. The section that followed this teach/learn section involved students redesigning their house. Instead of doing this whole section and then giving them free reign, I would teach one of the key points and then allow the students to work on that part for their redesign.

For example, when we talked about shapes, we had already watched a video that included this as a way to build better. The students designed the foundation for their new build on graph paper. We then worked on the sections about symmetry and roofing, did some designs on the back of the paper, and then the students took to Minecraft to design their foundation, create the supports, and then build the roof.

When it seemed like a good many of them were nearing completion, we moved into aesthetics and flooring. Students looked at some different floor designs and we talked about using graph paper to create them. They did a simple 10 x 10 design on graph paper, and then took to Minecraft to design their floor for their build. They also continued working on the other pieces as well.

By this time, the day was done. Our days have definitely flown by. I’m not using the hyperdoc format as much. I have 2 students who are homeschooled, and do not have a school GSuite account. I am still going by the lessons on there, except where I’ve made changes. Clearly, Makershop is still not to a place where I am decently satisfied with it! Since the students are rebuilding, here’s their current progress on their new designs:

(There is one more design than yesterday because an absent student showed up today.)

Overall, I like what I’m seeing from each student. In some cases, the student still chose to do their own thing, and that’s fine. Each design did incorporate the things we learned today (for the most part), so I know that it stuck!

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Finally, we had another dance party today. This time we did two songs:

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