ECI 832 / Major Project

7 Days Til Launch! (An Update on Minecraft Math)

(This post was written alongside Terri and also appears on her blog, A Digital Mindset.)

We’re approaching the final week of preparations for our official launch into Minecraft Math!  We are hopeful that writing through these early stages will help trace the learning journey, so here’s where things sit… 7 Days Til Launch!

List of Things Completed:

  • Server installation complete.  Harmony installed the game onto her computer and took a first look at how MinecraftEdu looks.  The first impression?  Endless possibilities, and slight (?) levels of anxiety attempting to navigate through the tutorial world.  The set-up makes sense but there are so many layers to the game and the learning process is admittedly overwhelming, but also exciting.  Terri had a similar experience learning how to play the game from her personal tutor- her son!  We will need to continue to take this one step at a time, and we also expect to lean on the expertise of our students throughout the journey.
  • Community connection found!  When Harmony shared her Minecraft Math journey with the educators at the SMYA conference in Saskatoon, she met another teacher in Regina who is also getting started with MinecraftEdu.  This could be a great connection for the two schools to collaborate throughout the unit.  It’s also great to be connected with another educator so that we can ask questions and learn from each other.
  • Student Math survey ready to roll (Google Forms).  Students from MTMS will complete the survey this week.  It focuses on attitudes and experiences around Math and will give us valuable feedback as we step into Minecraft Math.
  • Creeper box head and sweet pixelated glasses located! Come on! You’ll have to wait for photos during launch week…

List of Things To Do:

  • Create a pre-assessment tool.  We are considering using Flipgrid to hear the voices of our kids explaining what they know about the key concepts involved in Geometry and Measurement.  We would also like to include a short paper-pencil assessment.
  • Create a basic survey to evaluate Minecraft readiness and interest levels.  This will help with groupings.
  • Successfully install MInecraftEdu on all of the student computers.  This was attempted unsuccessfully last week.
  • Make final decisions about the layout of the Minecraft Math stations, rotations and student groupings.
  • Make final decisions about the overall task within MinecraftEdu (at the “Math Craft” station), and how this will connect with the “Math Build” paper-net station.  Create a student task card that will guide each group through the creating process.
  • Consider the classroom environment.  Where can we set up a permanent work station for Math Build?  Can we jazz up the classroom to embrace the Minecraft theme and add to the fun factor?
  • Make a really mean launch plan. This will include Minecraft treats, music and costumed entrance.
  • Work through the Tutorial World.  We need to have a solid grasp on how the game works and we have a basic understanding of the lessons we can teach using MinecraftEdu.  Last week Harmony ended up stuck trying to jump onto a brick…
  • Think about the ways we can make our learning visible on a weekly basis with students.  We need a specific plan for receiving feedback from students about their learning process.

Hmmm… the second list seems a bit longer than the first?! Here we go!  Ideas, questions, wonderings?  All welcome here!

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