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Six Minecraft Lesson Ideas for Common Core Math Class

Math Teacher: Six Minecraft Lesson Ideas for Common Core Math Class

As teachers continue to find successful and innovative practices to use with their students, computer gaming becomes more popular in classrooms.

One particular game, Minecraft, helps students think "visually and creatively about mathematical models and theories", according to Jim Pike, former third grade teacher, in an article on eschoolnews.com.

"Why Minecraft? I could say I am using Minecraft for a number of reasons, like how I find Minecraft enhances metacognition by increasing students’ memory storage capacity," he said. "The game itself creates a relatable enjoyable experience that can be internalized and shared in a community of learners. The limitations on the working memory are minimized because the gameplay itself is an extension of our visual sketchpad. Working with students they always say, “I can see it,” and when they see it they share it."

Pike then offers six ways teachers can use Minecraft in the Common core math classroom. The first way is that Minecraft "lets students create their world."

"If you have an aggressive Minecraft class, you can put them in a single world and either let them all build it by themselves, or allow all the students to build a world together," he said. "Personally, I just open up a world in MinecraftEDU (which makes it easier for the teacher since you can do things like freeze the students and transport). I don’t use worlds that have already been created, opting instead to let the kids build their own. I use MinecraftEDU as my server runner and open up the superflat world. We start building and we end up with a crazy math city."

Pike also said that teachers can "use Minecraft to help change your classroom culture into something students love."

"By far the greatest effect Minecraft has had on my students was a change in the classroom culture and attitudes about education. When we were preparing for our benchmark test I gave them ten Common Core word problems for homework," he said. "When I put them on our Edmodo page, they got mad at me. Mathcraft—at least the way I use it in the classroom—is not all in a video game. There is a lot of reading and writing of algebra and word problems. Before, they used to complain and give up when they had to do similar problems out of textbook. But now my kids turned even that part of the curriculum into a game and can not put down the pencil."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor  

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