Minecraft Sparks Motivation

11 January 2014
Spark Student Motivation is here!  Join in and share with Joanne at Head Over Heels For Teaching.  AND register to win in her and Holly's giveaway (Fourth Grade Flipper).  Excellent prizes.  Have you guys ever heard of this website called Amazon?

Three day weeks are tough from an educational perspective.  Then add in that you and your students have been out of school for 18 straight days (snow days) and it might take a little bit to get the kids going again.  Making that brain work after being stationary is tougher than trying to start my car in -25 degree weather (that's Fahrenheit for all my Canadian friends).


To spark a little student motivation I brought Minecraft into the learning equation.  I have a students who has some difficulty with spelling and writing so we used particular aspects of the game for a writing activity.  Sequencing and Editing to be exact.

                                   

So what'd I do?  I know the game, but I don't know it like the kids do.  So I asked how to make a railroad, grabbed an iPad with the game on it, and handed it to him.  "Oh, it's really easy Mr. Sutton all you have to do is..."  That's when I stopped him and we went into a concise lessons on sequencing.  Everything he was about to tell me needed to be written down.  "That's easy he said."  I smiled.

Ten minutes later he has a written paragraph.  We then edited the whole dang thing.  Looked at using specific vocabulary as we write, replacing "do this or that" with specific instructions.  Then he wrote a final copy.  All because of Minecraft.


I should say, I also gave him some background information that my daughter constantly asked questions about Minecraft and I needed help from him to answer it.  This was the original hook.

*It should also be noted that the iPad was used/played for less than two minutes.  This kid was so inclined to write his instructions that he didn't even care.  Beautiful.

This is just another way that technology can be integrated into learning without the need to actually use it.  The idea and allure can sometimes be enough for a student, which is something that actually happens quite a bit with my students.  Making learning fun (engagement for a professional term) is where it's at.  

Also, over break I purchased the Minecraft: Pocket Edition.  It was about seven bucks, but I think I've recouped my money after the time my girls have spent on it.  Now they ask me questions and I have to go and find the answer from my students at school.  The perfect circle.

8-bit Carlton Dance Party!  
Minecraft-style


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