Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Math Triathlon - Minecraft Style

Mrs. Downs teaches 6th grade Math and came to the MinecraftEdu Camp that was previously mentioned.  She had played Decimal Island during Camp which sparked ideas for more math oriented game playing.  She teaches TAG (Talented and Gifted) math classes as well, and some of those students have also been in my video game club.  She asked them if they would like to create a math world for the other students to go through. For them - they had just been elevated to Minecraft Masters. They worked for weeks creating a world in which kids would go through a mini tutorial world on MC navigating, and on completion, students would venture into their math world of proportion and probability. They created a working spinner and other games of chance as well as a large building area for students to complete proportional replicas of models.  This was the first world for the classmates to play on Day 1 of this 2 day blast of math. The students made it through the tutorial and created their models.  We even had a guest come to watch - an Instructional Coach for the district. Thanks to him for taking time out from his busy schedule.


Day 2 was our last day of school.  Mrs. Downs and I decided to try one of the worlds on the MinecraftEdu World Library by MisterA called Decimal Triathlon. Even though these particular problems were easily computed, the kids thought this was an outstanding way of doing problems. Students enter the world and quickly begin working on a math problem.  

They ran to the nearby building. Signs containing the answers appeared above 4 holes. Students jumped into the hole with the correct answer.  For this they received chicken; incorrect answers were worth rotten flesh. So it's like answering a multiple choice question with a virtual body.  

From there, leg 1 of the race began with a swim across a lake. Once across, it was on to the next question and the same scenario of jumping into the correct hole.  Leg 2 brought the player to get a saddle, stick & carrot, mount a pig and take off to the last question. You would have almost thought the kids were riding real pigs - they enjoyed that immensely.  One last question and then they spawned boats, jumped in, and rode the rapids to the finish line. They were greeted with a round of spectacular fireworks as they crossed the finish line. What a wonderful way to finish the year! And what a cool world - it has now sparked ideas for me to create some other engaging worlds too.

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