I continue to be amazed and surprised at how well my students can understand the ins and outs of minecraft and put so much thought and complexity into their minecraft structures. After one of our minecraft session, I showed our after school coordinator some of the buildings students were working on. The students were eager to show off what they had done and kept talking about what they were going to do and how they would do it in minecraft. Students craft without having to refer to a resource. So anxious were they to show me how they added the various features to their buildings, that they would take over my machine and make the item they were trying to describe. They seem to know everything about minecraft. During this very lively convesation, I asked the students how was it that they were able to learn all the ins and outs of minecraft and be so creative, but had such a hard time learning Math facts and being creative in their other subjects. One student answered without having to think "because we get to do it." In other words, in minecraft he gets to learn and do on his terms. It's not because he thinks the subjects are boring or not relevant, he wants to discover them on his own. So here's to minecraft and having students create and do on their own. Most of them can do quite well without being told what to do.
Mr. Gembicki has started to use minecraft for his 8th Grade Language Arts Class. He was looking for a project for his advanced students. The assignment is to buid a structure from a book they have read and to write about it in minecraft. Mr. Gembicki is a minecraft player, so he was able to get the assignment running in no time. Students have had about 30 minutes to work on their structures and I have included some screen shots below. I expect this assignment will evolve over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for the final project.