Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Making Minecraft Meaningful

S.O.L.  # 8 out of 31
Minecraft Mania: Making Minecraft Meaningful

It has been a fun experience having a student teacher in my classroom again this year. This year it is a male student teacher, majoring in elementary education, Mr. S.   Mentoring a student teacher always brings a fresh perspective to my teaching and awakens me to try new things.  I especially love the uniqueness that his male teacher brings to the classroom.  

Building relationships with the students is #1 in my book. One way to do that is to tie curriculum into the students' world. It captures their attention and engages them into the lesson. I am acutely aware that most kids this age are enthralled with Minecraft (partly due to the fact that my own 9 year old son spends countless hours playing the game) I have tried bringing certain aspects into my lessons. For example, we watched a couple short excerpts of this video  of optical illusions in Minecraft as an anticipatory set before our studies of the nervous system  (being that optical illusions are tricks that the eye plays on your brain)  
But Mr. S takes it to the next level. When his students were learning about place value, he created a place value board in Minecraft for them.  

The students filled the ones place with bricks until there were too many then regrouped those ten bricks to create one brick of ten in the tens place.   Watch video to see it in action 

He also designed a whole section in the Minecraft world for them to practice the skill of area and perimeter. 

When determining perimeter, they counted the bricks around the outside edge of each structure.   
 Then they can walk around to the back of the structure and read the sign to see if their answer was correct. 

To me, this is the epitome of connecting with kids. He has connected their world into the classroom! 
I know they will love it and learn lots! 
To find out more about using Minecraft for learning, check out


  1. In our after school mentoring program, I learned about this program from a young man that I've been working with. Being a Senior, I was not familiar with this program. But because I asked questions, he was delighted to share his knowledge with me. A connection was made and we've become friends - just because I cared enough to ask.

  2. Mr. S sounds like a fantastic young teacher who knows how to engage his students and is willing to put forth great effort to make that happen. I hope to get down to your room soon to watch him in action.

    1. Oh yes, you should. I would love for you to meet him. You would love to see they other ways he incorporates technology too.

  3. I bet your students love to come to school! Learning CAN be fun!