Saturday, July 25, 2015

Minecraft for Math Enrichment

I've resisted Minecraft in the classroom because I didn't understand what it could do.

I've played Minecraft and it is fun but it can be a time suck. I stopped "playing" MC one day when I looked up and it was 2am! I had been playing since 2 in the afternoon. Yikes! I banned myself from playing and I told people I was a recovering MC addict. ;)

I heard about friends who were doing MC in the classroom. Sure, it could be fun for social studies classrooms, but I thought it would be a waste of time for my math and science middle school classrooms. It takes a long time to build and we have a lot of curriculum to cover.

Somehow I stumbled upon some YouTube videos by Shane Asselstine, AKA Mister A, and saw a whole new side of MC. He had created worlds that were math lessons. Students didn't build, the world was built already. They went in and did the math activity. I saw big potential.

So I've been learning the teacher controls of MinecraftEdu.  I've started building my first world.

My evil master plan is to create quest type activities as enrichment for students who pass their quiz/test. I will remediate with students who need extra help while the students who pass with proficiency will get to go into MC. I want the quest to be a higher level math enrichment activity that students can do independently with a partner or team. I'm hoping MC will be an incentive for students who need remediation.

That is where my challenge lies. Trying to learn what MC can do and design quests that will challenge students mathematically.

If you have any ideas for me, please leave them in the comments!  Thanks for reading!