Thursday, 28 February 2013

An Era Gone By... :(

So if you can remember from my last update, the lesson on Tuesday was my last ever MinecraftEdu lesson for this project. It was the same map as before but just for the rest of the class and it went well. There seemed to be a lot of following others around but more people got to the free area at the end and seemed to understand what it was about.

Throughout this part of the project I have learned a lot, both about using the game and about teaching a class (i.e. methods for discipline etc.). I have enjoyed it so much and from the feedback that I got from the kids, they loved it too! Definitely a good thing to take away from this.

During March, I will be working on the video that I will present at the project fair, and then continuing with the report. There is lots of footage to go through - as said in my last update - however it does help that tomorrow my winter holiday starts. Lots to do so I will, of course, be using lots of that time for editing and other project work. I am very sad that all the Minecraft stuff is over, but I do enjoy video editing so the next part of the project should be really fun too!

I will get the results from my mum soon about how my six anonymous students have progressed and will include that somehow in my video. I guess though, until the weekend when I start work on my video, this is all. An era has passed and a new one begins, but for now, see you later! :D

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A Great Lesson!

Okay, so based on last unit's lessons, I adapted a few things. Once again I decided to go with the maze idea, as it seemed to be popular with the kids and it turned out to be very efficient. However, I also decided to combine the Addition and Subtraction unit that this new map was designed for, with the same number statues as in the Place Value map so that the kids could revise what they'd learned during that unit.

In this week's maze, they would go through the tunnels like last time, but in the rooms there were two separate statues with a sign in between. On this sign, the was either a '+' or '-' sign. They then had to work out the two numbers shown by the statues and work out the answer to the question shown.

Some changes to the maze were made to make the lesson go better. I made it a lot longer. Last week's was five questions long and this week's was 12.

This picture was taken after I was about half way done, so imagine this about two times bigger and that's about how big the whole thing was. Also, there were no traps in this maze. Whilst they were a bit fun, they proved to be more trouble than beneficial to the exercises last week, as the kids don't yet have amazing coordination with the game. Moving forward and turning is sort of the limit for them. This made the lesson go smoother, and less people were unhappy. But, so as to have something inconvenient for them (which encourages thinking about the question properly), I made it so that when you get a question wrong, you go all the way back to the beginning. This meant that no one wanted to just guess answers. I did feel a bit bad for one kid who got to the last question in about five minutes and then got it wrong and had to do it all again, but I guess that's just the way it goes.

Just like last time, there was a free area at the end for those that finished quickly, but only about four people made it there this time.

In terms of how the lesson went, I feel that this week was amazing! Probably the best yet! Everyone was concentrating so much and trying really hard. I think it helped that this time they had been taught about the topic in mind before today's lesson so many were very confident to begin with. It may have also helped that we had a lot of student teachers from the university with us; more man-power made things a lot easier!

I guess that's all for now until next week. This was the last map and next week will be the last lesson that I teach. Then all of March and the end of this month will be dedicated to making the video for the project fair using all the video footage I have recorded. I realised at the weekend that over half of my 1 terabyte hard-drive has been taken up with footage for this project. As soon as I have the video I'll definitely be deleting all the raw footage. Anyway, until next week, see ya later! :D

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Best One Yet!

Today's lesson was just amazing! I could tell when I was making it that it would be a good lesson but today just proved it. The idea was a maze with different rooms that had a statue in them. These statues were made of diamond and iron blocks, which represented tens and units. Then, based on the statue, the students had to find the correct answer and continue through the maze. However, there were booby traps along the way which mostly killed the students and sent them back to the beginning.

You can see that it looks quite complicated but from the inside it was quite simple and the kids definitely seemed to enjoy it. Let's hope that next week's group feels the same way.

Also, my supervisor came to today's lesson and seemed very happy with the game, the way it is used and the lesson so I'm very happy about that too.

I think for the next unit, I will also use the same kind of idea. I feel that last unit's method didn't really work well and this way seemed to work a lot better. I will probably make the whole thing a lot bigger as many today finished within ten minutes but I think the maze idea works best.

My project seems to be going very well at the moment; I don't feel too stressed by the whole thing. Soon I will probably be working on my report a bit more but that isn't due for a long time! I hope that all keeps going well as I'm coming up to the end of the practical side of my project. Other than that, bye for now!