MinecraftEDU Math!

posted Feb 3, 2016, 5:13 PM by Patrick Johnson
What an exciting day we had today in math! Students were introduced to MinecraftEDU on our school laptops. We had 10 laptops (and a couple of iPads) running Minecraft today. 

First we started with a community circle. Our question of the day was: How can I be a good partner when using technology (for example a laptop, iPad etc.)?

Students came with terrific ideas, for example:
  • taking turns and sharing
  • helping your partner but not taking over
  • asking your partner how you can help them
  • using kind words and voices
  • staying on task and using technology appropriately (good digital citizenship)
  • having fun
Next I demonstrated a couple of differences between the PC version of Minecraft and the iPad/Xbox/Playstation edition of Minecraft (for example, how to move and access your inventory with the keyboard). 

Minecraft projected on the whiteboard:


Then students were out into pairs and entered a pre-created Minecraft world that I made. They were given a few "try this" goals:
  • move around and explore the world
  • access your inventory and choose items for your tool bar
  • try digging and building
Student exploring the Minecraft world on a laptop:

Students quickly accomplished all of their "try this" goals and started making and sharing discoveries of their own. For example:
  • flying by pressing the spacebar twice
  • opening and writing in a diary from their inventory (the icon is a book with a quill) 
  • digging and finding diamonds
Finally, after about 35 minutes of discovery and exploring I gave students a few math tasks to try:
  1. Make a structure with a perimeter of exactly 10 units.
  2. Make a structure with a perimeter of exactly 12 units.
  3. Make a structure with an area of exactly 20 square units. 
Students discovered through this task that different structures can have the same perimeter and different structures can have the same area. It was a great, fun way to explore the math concepts of area and perimeter. 

Area of 20 square units

Area of 20 square units

Area of 20 square units

Perimeter of 12 units

Perimeter of 10 units

Perimeter of 10 units


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