Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Minecraft and Stop Motion Animation:

Minecraft:

All this year I have been working to expand what I am doing with Minecraft in the classroom. We have done what I consider to be some pretty amazing things so far, we have developed and implemented language lessons into the game, one such lesson using a seed to create a deserted island, students wrote about being shipwrecked, they had to play through a day in Minecraft and then journal about their day. We have used math in a variety of applications, surface area, perimeter ect and have come up with some unique ways to implement financial literacy as well. This year I used it with my 7/8's history and geography, for history we were studying the war of 1812, students selected one of the forts from the war, and recreated it to scale in the game, in geography I took the curriculum and created one ongoing assignment covering the expectations and for their final task they are creating their fictional country in Minecraft.

I think all of these have worked really well and the feedback has been amazing now I am embarking with my team on our overall goal, sharing what we have done with other teachers in our region and board, many do not yet use the game and become nervous about trying to bring their game into their classroom.

One thing we have discovered so far is that the students are the best resources, they generally educate us as we our going and their ability to think spatially and problem solve within the game is second to none. The other key aspect is not to have a lesson that takes away the students love of the game, why is Minecraft a success.... it appears from my experience so far to be the freedom it gives the users as well as the challenge and ability to work with their friends. There is no rules overall and the only limit appears to be there imagination.

Our goal for the remainder of this year and going into next year is to start creating our own worlds and lessons that we can pre-package for our colleagues, we are aiming to create a Minecraft student team which will be our student leaders who will run programs at school and go to other schools to introduce students and teachers to the game and the limitless opportunities available.

That is where we are going and what our plan is, we would love to connect and work with like minded educators from around the world, if this sounds like something you may be interested in please reach out to me and join our team.

Stop Motion Animation:

As the year is coming to an end I always try and come up with an end of year project, for the past 2 years I have done Genius Hour with some success, this year I have decided to try stop motion animation with my students. With the assistance of the free stop motion recorder on my MS Surface. We just finished working on resiliency in the school so students have chosen from key themes to tell a story or message. We have begun with storyboards and in the next few weeks are going to be creating our stop motion animations, stay tuned to see how this turns out.