Thursday, February 27, 2014

Elementary Minecraft-Part 1

This year, I've decided to try to incorporate Minecraft within the computer lab classes rather than having a separate club(s) as I did last year. There were several reasons for this:

1) There was a HUGE response to the before school clubs last year. So many students were interested in grades 3-5 that I ended up offering 4 different clubs before school let out in June! By including Minecraft within our regularly scheduled lab sessions, I know that many more students will have the opportunity to try out, learn and explore with Minecraft.

2) Scheduling is a tricky thing and I am unable to run Minecraft clubs before or after school this year. I chose to run the clubs last year because I was interested in seeing what the students could do within the program. Now that I have a good idea of the possibilities with Minecraft, I'm confident the students will collaborate to create great stuff during our scheduled classes!

3) I've decided to focus on using Minecraft strictly with 3rd grade students. My thoughts on this are because these students didn't have the opportunity to join the clubs last spring (we only opened them to grades 3-5), they should have the chance to try out Minecraft at school. I also want to attempt to tie Minecraft to the 3rd grade Social Studies curriculum. The current 4th and 5th graders will not have the opportunity to use Mincecraft in the computer lab setting this year. Instead, they will be focusing their efforts on the 3D design challenge using the MakerBot 3D printer. Third grade students will not be using the 3D printer so there is some trade-off in my planning.

Starting the first week of March, Minecraft will begin to be introduced during computer lab sessions. Stay tuned to see where this adventure takes us!

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