4th Grade & Minecraft

I’ve been able to find many ways to use Minecraft since I began playing a few years ago- workshops for littles up to middle school, literacy, and more. However, I had yet to get a chance to use it in the classroom with the curriculum. That’s about to change this as the second semester begins.

A fellow colleague and Minecraft lover alerted me to the fact that two 4th grade teachers at Carysbrook Elementary were interested in learning to use the program with their math classes. She invited me to help set up one of the labs to play the game, and also to meet with the teachers yesterday. They would like to use it with some of their upcoming geometry unit.

We have so far planned to get the server set up and a basic quadrant layout for the world maps. I’ll also set up the server with Spigot and some add-ons to make the management easier for the teachers. They have a few ideas already for projects, but nothing completely solid yet. I have showed them how they could work in Minecraft, and they’ll decide in which order to proceed.

For now, they are working on learning to play the game themselves. I gave them access to a couple of the school accounts for this purpose. I have answered any questions they’ve thrown my way, and told them that learning to play the game is meant to be a learning process, but that YouTube is very handy, as are wikis.

For the students, we’ve decided that a play session will be vital first, so we’ve scheduled their classes to get some time with the game before diving into curriculum on the 18th. They’ll be doing this during 100th day of school activities, so the plan is to let the students explore and play before assigning them a challenge to build the number 100 in as many ways as they can think of.

After that, I will return the next week to begin the first math lesson with the students. I am only able to do the morning classes, so they are going to watch what I do and how I troubleshoot, and apply it themselves during the afternoon classes.

I am excited to take on this task, and to see what part of their unit they decide to use first. They are excited to try it with students and find a new way to bring engagement to their classes. I hope to provide a new update soon!

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