Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Meet Minecraft

I was first introduced to Minecraft at an EdCamp.  I knew nothing about it at all, but was intrigued.

Last year at an EdCamp, I facilitated a session on Minecraft solely because I wanted to learn more about it.

And in September, I put in a request for a Minecraft Server for my class.

Which was loaded in December.

And I was afraid to open it up and see what awaited me, even though I knew something good lay there.

Good?  Well, I was wrong about that.  It was FANTABULOUS!

Seriously, Minecraft has made Michigan History enjoyable to me for the first time, ever.  I mean, sure I taught it for a few years when it first went to third grade, but I never really liked it.  It's content that I don't think is appropriate for third graders, and I find it quite dry.

Enter Minecraft.

I introduced it to my class in early January.  Our first two days were spent "exploring" our world.  But really, it was set up that way so that I could learn a bit about this unknown educational phenomenon.  It.  Was.  Awesome.

After exploration, we tackled our first project.  Building scale models of Native American Longhouses.  It was quite the undertaking for our first project, but I'm positive it will turn out fantastic!

We spent the first few days researching Longhouses.  We gathered all sorts of information, including size, building materials, what tribes used them, and so forth.  It was a great way to explore various text types, too, as we used text books, articles, magazines, and the internet.

Then.  We created our first rubric.

Rubrics are awesome.  Writing them with third graders?  It's gonna take some practice.

However, the motivation and engagement level?  Never been higher!  And now, this teacher who knew nothing about Minecraft?  I'm not going to admit to how much I've played....

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