It’s Launch Day! Today we officially begin our Minecraft adventure with the students. Last week I embraced my pirate spirit and set out on a #tlap mission to create some serious buzz leading up to the launch (shout out to the incredible lead pirate, Dave Burgess for his inspiration and idea-sparking sessions at the SMYA Conference!). I can’t reveal any pre-launch details, but oddly, a green package was mysteriously and anonymously delivered to our classroom last Wednesday. It is quite heavy, and the scrawled writing insists that we wait until 1:00pm on November 1st to open the package. And that’s all I can tell you about the green package for now, but check back tomorrow if you’re curious…
I had lots of fun creating a Minecraft vibe in the classroom on the weekend. I love the little details, and there are so many fun and free Minecraft resources to use when it comes to graphics and decor. Thank you, Pinterest! I re-organized my reading corner so that it now features a “Crafting Table” (thanks to Terri for bringing the ottoman!). This is where students will work in groups on our collective paper-net world.
Last week I also spent time gathering student feedback around Math and Minecraft. The results provide us with some baseline information about our students’ attitudes, perceptions and habits around Math and Minecraft. 17 students were surveyed (13 girls, 4 boys). We wanted to know our students’ levels of familiarity with the game. Only one student has not played the game before, and over half the class has played Minecraft at least six times in the last month. 16/18 students indicated that they either “enjoyed” or “loved” Minecraft.
Students also completed a simple paper-pencil pre-assessment that involved vocabulary and basic measurement formula questions. I attempted to have students complete a video response on Flipgrid, but we ran into a couple different technical challenges. I’m still not sure about how to trouble-shoot around the issues but I think I’ll wait and try Flipgrid another time, or maybe use Class Seesaw instead. Their pre-assessments showed low understanding in Math content vocabulary
I’m a bit nervous about some of the technical aspects of Minecraft. Yesterday we were unable to log students on to the server, but fortunately we nailed it this morning! I’m grateful that we have an IT rockstar for support at MTMS because I wouldn’t have been able to successfully trouble-shoot the issue on my own. I’m not sure how our server will handle 22 students playing at the same time. The majority of the time spent on MinecraftEdu will take place in small groups, though, so I don’t anticipate this to be too problematic.
We’ll plan on posting some post-launch reactions tonight! Stay posted for more to come!