Learning math with Minecraft looks like students are just playing video games all day. In fact, they are learning lessons on area, perimeter, and other concepts while having what they consider to be a fun break time.
“They know more about Minecraft than I do, and they know that they know more about Minecraft than I do,” says third grade math teacher Jennifer Oakley. “But I’m just kind of monitoring to make sure they’re doing the math that goes with it.”
Oakley asked her students to write persuasive essays on why they should use Minecraft in the classroom, and create presentations. Today, her students design houses working in pairs, using their 3-D world-building iPad application. They create floorplans in a shared Google Doc, measuring area and perimeter of the houses.
Minecraft’s use as an educational tool has grown, according to Robin Finberg, executive director of Curriculum and Professional Development for ABSS.
“I think it’s engaging in a sense that they already know what it’s about, and they like the way that Minecraft has that three-dimensionality, and the ability to be creative and innovative, and have their own worlds, and build them up and knock them down, but then to be able to take those same kind of skills and apply it to math I think is a way to get them excited,” Finberg said.