Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A Bit Better...

Okay, I had my other Addition and Subtraction (bridging 20) lesson today and I have to say it did go quite a bit better than last time! The lesson went a lot smoother and it did help to have another assistant teacher to help the Special Ed. students. I wouldn't exactly say that they ALL understood what to do better than last week's group but there was a noticeable difference compared to last week. Also, I think it helped that my mum went over everything in more detail last week in class, so the students this week already had a better understanding of what to do. The classroom discipline was better (except for a few kids) and I think that helped too - last week's group were quite restless for some reason.

From what I can tell, this week's group understood how to lay out the answer to the addition questions better and they were a lot quicker to grasp the idea as well.

This was supposed to be the general idea to show the answer in tens. This child made this first time from what I remember, which shows that he understood the concept very well.

I have a one week break now before the last two sets of lessons and then after that there will be no more MinecraftEdu lessons. This is because I will be using March to work more on the report and then the video of all the recorded stuff for this project, which I will present at the fair in May.

Until I start making the world for those lessons, that will be about it... See y'all soon!!!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Just a Short Update...

So as I stated in my previous blog post, I had a MinecraftEdu lesson today. Unfortunately, and I don't know if this was just me, but, I don't feel like the lesson went all that well. People were very restless but also I don't feel that the kids got as much out of the lesson as some previous lessons. I hope next week's lesson will be better.

I had the meeting with my supervisor today and he said that all is going okay and that I should keep up the good work, so I am happy with that. He will also be attending my lesson next week where he will hopefully get a better understanding of my project and see what I am using the game and its features for.

As the title says, this is only a small update so this will be it for now. I will see how the lesson goes next week so I can decide whether it was just a bad day today or whether something I did could be changed for the next unit to make things go smoother. Anyway, bye for now!

Friday, 11 January 2013

The New Year Has Brought Work!

Okay, so I set Wednesday aside to work on my Personal Project and I'm happy to say that I got a lot done. I got home at around 14:15 and finished working at around 20:30. I have another MinecraftEdu lesson on Tuesday and I have the world fully ready for that lesson. The new unit is Addition and Subtraction (bridging 10 and 20). The groups will be the same as last time and I will try to keep it this way until the end of the project, so that the groups are familiar to the kids and they will start to build relationships with different people in their class - which is always important at this stage in school.

Now, usually to get to the areas where the kids do their tasks, they use teleporters, however, this time to try something fun and new, they will be going there by minecart.

They will go into these small tunnels according to which one has their name on it from the spawn-area and then see this. I will teach them how to use the minecarts (i.e. right-clicking to get in it and pressing the buttons etc.) and then, as you can just see in the distance, they will be taken to the place where the magic happens!

From the outside, this area looks like this: 

I think it looks pretty cool actually with all the different tracks coming out and I hope the kids will enjoy it too.

Once they get to the next area, the first task is pretty easy. There will be a simple addition question depending on their mathematical ability like so:

... and all they have to do is walk through the right door to answer the question. If they get the answer right, they will be taken to the next area, where the whole group will be together again and in that area they will have to solve an addition problem by placing blocks in tens. When they have finished all five problems in that area, we will teleport the group to the next area where they will have to do the same kind of thing, but in reverse for subtraction. The groups that found the secret diamond in the last lesson, will get diamond pickaxes and those that didn't, will get iron.

If someone gets the first question wrong, they will sadly be taken to the "detention centre" to try again.

When they get the very easy question from this area correct, we will teleport them back to their group. 

As for other news on my project, I have just submitted the first draft of the first section of my Personal Project Report, which is about "The Goal". My supervisor and I will meet on Tuesday - in the break after the lesson - to discuss this and, hopefully, he will have some nice suggestions on how to make that better.

Other than that, not much has happened. Things are definitely getting more serious with this project but at least I have a definite plan ready for the upcoming months. I'll probably update this more on Tuesday/Wednesday evening after both the lesson and the meeting, to get some more news in this journal. Besides that, bye for now!