I have missed having my Minecraft Club and learning as much as I can about Minecraft in order to make it a meaningful experience with students. I have officially launched my Minecraft Club again and I am looking for Miners who would enjoy working on projects on my private server.
I have a new flyer that can be given to parents of students who might like to join.
I learned so much from the first round of the club, and have made some great contacts since then. I am hoping some of my former club miners will join me again and pick up some new miners ones. This round should be better than before for sure!
I am honestly not sure who reads this blog anymore now that I am out of the classroom. My class website was created to be a communication tool between myself and my students and their families. I left my classroom to be a teacher on assignment last December…I can’t believe it has already almost been a year. It still feels like only recently that I left my classroom.
The transition was not an easy one. Being a teacher on assignment was a completely new experience for me, and one I am learning from every day. I have been wrestling with what purpose my website would serve now and I am still sorting it out. It bothered me that I hadn’t posted since April, and I had been meaning to post again for a while. What finally brought me back to posting was one of my long time passions…employing Minecraft for educational purposes and showing other teachers how to do that as well.
Minecraft has been around for 6 years now. I have been aware of it since it was 3 years old and a few boys in one of my 3rd grade classes had Minecraft fever. Lots of educators around the world are using Minecraft in their classrooms now, but while many educators are quite skilled in using Minecraft for education, there are still a lot of us who want to use Minecraft with our students but don’t know where to start.
From late 2014 til recently this year (2016) I ran my own Minecraft server as a part of my Master’s practicum. Talk about a learning experience! I offered a Minecraft Club for 3rd through 5th grade at my school. Since Minecraft is not district approved, I ran it as a distance learning experience with students using their own Minecraft accounts and logging in from home to my hosted server. At most I had about 15 students and in the end as things got harder to manage, I ended up with about 5. I closed my server just over a month ago. It really was a great experience for all of us and I was sad to shut it down, but in the end no one was using the server anymore.
Recently I attended Minecon in Anaheim, and that really made me miss Minecraft. I am in a position as a teacher on assignment to propose teaching tools and Minecraft is one I recently brought up to find my directors receptive to hearing more. Both of those factors made my desire to have my own server again strong. I am approaching it differently now. I am not running a club, but running the server for me to learn and experiment, and for Xavier (my 11 year old son & 6th grader) and I (as well as any interested previous club members) to come and create. No agenda, no lessons, just learning, experimenting and playing.
I hope to post at least my Minecraft experiences, as well as other experiences related to education that may be of interest to others.
I am thrilled to announce the beginning of the 21st Century Club at Dorothy Grant Elementary! In this very special club we will focus on teaching students the 21st Century Skills they need as children of the information age. Specifically we will focus on the following International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards for students:
Creativity and Innovation
Communication and Collaboration
Research and Information Fluency
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
Technology Operations and Concepts
The first phase of our 21st Century Club will focus on Minecraft and game based learning. This opportunity is open to all 3rd through 5th graders as a distance learning experience. That means students will be connecting to the club from home. The following are required to participate:
Reliable home computer with MinecraftEDU Minecraft installed (MinecraftEDU will not be used after all, regular Minecraft will.)
This is different than the commercial Minecraft client. The MinecraftEDU client will be sent to students in the club once all requirements have been met.
Reliable home internet
A Minecraft account ($26.95) or a MinecraftEDU account ($18)
With commercial Minecraft, the account is yours to keep. With MinecraftEDU, you are borrowing the account.
Students do not need to sign up for another Edmodo account if they already have one.
A group join code will be sent once all requirements have been met.
Permission slip with parent and teacher signatures
The Minecraft Club will take place on Thursdays from 4pm to 5pm. Our first meeting is Thursday, September 10th.
If you are interested in this opportunity for your child, please email me your child’s name and their teacher’s name. A permission slip will then be sent to them for completion along with further instructions.
We had a wonderful turn out for Back To School Night! It was so nice to meet so many of the families of my students. Several of you told me you would not be able to attend and there are some linked videos I was unable to show due to time, so I wanted to be sure to get my presentation online for you to review. If you have any questions about any part of the presentation, please message me on ClassDojo.
Today marked the beginning of a new school year. I was very excited for the grade change from 3rd to 4th, but with that change came a room change. I have moved from F1 to P4, which is a newly installed portable. The move was not without its stresses, but in the end the room was ready to go come the 1st day of school to welcome in its first DGE 4th graders.
We had an amazing day today. We got to know one another a bit better, and make our avatars for the year using the AvatarCreator app available on iOS. I also took quick stock of how technology equipped my students are. Of 31 students 6 had a smartphone of some kind, 20 had a tablet, and 8 did not have a smartphone or a tablet.
I introduced the class to Edmodo, which will be the online version of our classroom we will use daily. The students have set up their accounts and parents can join in as well to see what we are up to. Parents can get the parent join code from their child when the student is logged in to their Edmodo account.
Parents are welcome to contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), ClassDojo, or Skype (dgeruiz).
I look forward to day two of school and all the days ahead of us. I just know we will have an amazing year!