28 februari 2014

Minecraft and geometry

Sorry, this is so awesome I have to tell you. 

First of all, my principal (at my section) have given me the Minecraft tool to use when I try to explain or help our students. He makes the decisions, it's up to me to make them real.

And all of these students I have now, different classes, actually has the same course to pass: geometry... What could be better than actually use Minecraft...?

I found some inspiration made by Traci Blazosky at the awesome site teacherspayteachers but unfortunately I couldn't use it. But it gave me a structure how to make and put up challenges to my students. 

So I have a bunch of students, 16-19 years old, some with a challenge (ADHD, dyscalculia and more) and some without. All of them has never thought math could be fun. None of them have never done that much at these lessons. And come on, when the teacher had his lecture you maybe get a question once in an hour. You have to make a decision once in an hour. 

Computers and games, you have to make decisions all the time, every second. 

That was what happened today. 
I had this unjustified guy without any inspiration, I should - according to his teachers - be so very glad he came so early in the morning. 40 minutes is the maximum time he usually can sit still. I put him in front of the computer and started to explain my thoughts how to make geometry possible in Minecraft, perimeter, volume, area.

Three minutes and I had made math interesting.
After 75 (!) minutes without break I asked him if he was learning something and if he could see any difference between this way of learning and the old fashion way (paper, pencil). 

He smiled, answered honestly: maybe not that much geometry but a lot of thinking. A lot of thinking and all was about math, he had to calculate every move in one way or another. What come to geometry, when he had to start think about it (in game) it was so significantly. Perimeter, he could count it and control it (walk around a house). Volume he finally understood.

Imagine: I made math fun!

Computers and games, you have to make decisions all the time, every second. 

Same thing yesterday but that guy (18 years old) has dyscalculia. He doesn't like math at all. But he knows he need help with it. He had have two lessons of intodruction to Minecraft, just be creative, try the controls and so. Yesterday we started for real.

Again, difficulties with the concentration and what happened? 
He sat for one and a half hour without a break! 
We had to stop because he had to go to another lesson.

A bit nervous I asked him if he had learned something new and he answered:
"Yes, I know understand perimeter. I can see what area and volym are, but it's hard to count. But hey, I couldn't believe math could be this fun!!!"

Math can be fun!


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