Monday, March 5, 2012

Minecraft Journal Entry #37 & 38

February 7, 2012

Tonight the Grims went to the new TDSB Multi-School server to help Lira make the Agnes Macphail shelter. To keep with the spirit of the server, we did not import our armour or get via OP powers any extraneous items. Actually, I was the only one with OP powers at all. This was a big change of play style for Terra and Phisa. They said that they found they got hungrier faster so I had a lot of requests for food handouts. I didn't want to make any furnaces so that I'd leave the game spot up to the other players to do, so I happily used code 366 and 364 to distribute steaks and roast chickens to the hungry. Terra had a bittersweet experience - she found a populated village almost right away in this new world! She was happy to see that the villagers were not a figment of her imagination but she was annoyed that she found them so easily here and has STILL not found them on the gaming edus world. We took a lot of photos and left everything intact.

Terra with a villager in the TDSB server NPC town.

We chose to place the Macphail shelter a bit farther away from both the main shelter and the village, next to the ocean and a natural mining pit. I was tempted to make it fancy but I kept it simple. Terra and Phisa wandered away after providing preliminary help. You'll have to ask them what they did - I was too busy building a decent shelter based on Terra's suggestions.

February 8, 2012
I had one of those awesome teaching days that make you glad to be an educator and Minecraft had a lot to do with it. I tried a differentiated ICT task for the grade 4s - they could choose to either write about one of the photos found on the gallery here on this wiki (for language) or design a shelter we can build on the Grade 4 Land single player world (for math). After they had completed their task, they had to email me and attach their work. The best plans would earn the creator time to control Liragrim for some Minecraft time during library period last thing today. The students were amazing and I loved how they further differentiated the process - some were on YouTube researching Minecraft houses by watching videos, some were on Notebook 10 drawing their houses, some were on this wiki grabbing pictures, some were on Microsoft Word typing up their description, and some were on their school Gmail sending me their work. I sent the principal up to check out their efforts. I nearly fainted when a certain boy, who hates school and never does work voluntarily, asked me if he and his partner could stay in at recess to finish his work and email it! Looks like we are going to have several weeks of Minecraft play because so many kids did such amazing things! When they played in the library on the SMART Board, they began to build their house using the dimensions they described in their plans. They made wood and then stone based tools. They dug super super deep during the night to get to needed rock types like iron as well as to avoid creeper attacks. The kids have done a lot of research on their own time. While watching the group leaders dig during the night, I heard one proclaim "they got down to the bedrock!" and another kid asked "what's bedrock?" so the first kid explained it with a Minecraft & science explanation involving sedimentary rock and in-game properties ("you can't break it"). I really should video tape all the rich discussion. It was awesome!

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