Mystery Minecraft Math Problem!

posted Dec 2, 2014, 1:47 PM by Patrick Johnson
Yesterday during our monthly staff meeting, teachers completed a fun math activity that I thought I would share with my Gr3 class today (with a little bit of my own Minecraft twist).

I told students that while I was playing Minecraft, I found this mysterious pyramid like structure. Their math challenge, as Minecraft Mathematicians, was to find clever ways to count the blocks without tearing the blocks apart. Students were given a representation of the structure in cubes to work with.

Representing the Minecraft Mystery Pyramid in cubes

A student arranging the block, looking for ways to count the structure without resorting to counting by 1s.

Students found 4 main strategies for adding the cubes up:
-T charts
-Adding by 10s then 5
-Skip counting by 5s

Using a t-chart to help solve the problem:

Solving with addition:

Solving with multiplication:

Solving with addition: