Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lunacraft in Math

Well, I'm embarrassed with my absence from blogging for the last month. Between testing and catching the flying germs in the classroom, I unfortunately haven't had time to write.

I remember being an educator that flipped out when I suddenly found my students downloading Minecraft on the computer. I didn't understand the game and I felt as if it was taking the students away from my instruction and digital tools. After almost four years, I finally decided to look into it. I needed something to excite my students and get them hooked in math.

After checking into costs on Minecraft for a 1:1 iPad classroom, unfortunately it was something we weren't able to play out. I began searching for Minecraft-like apps and came across Lunacraft, an app for mining and constructing but in SPACE!

I sought out advice from my students about the project and what app they would prefer, but they quickly jumped on Lunacraft! The hardest part was doing the self-paced lesson first, because they just wanted to start building.

The idea behind this project, was a review on area, perimeter and volume. Being in 5th grade, they should have this memorized by now, but reviewing that and customary unit conversions has been a hard task.

While students are creating their own space town in Lunacraft, they have to construct 3 various types of buildings. For each building, they need to calculate the perimeter, volume and area. Now the tricky part for the kids.... 1 block in Lunacraft is equal to 1M. Since we are using customary, they have to convert that 1M block to 3Ft. So overall, they are reviewing customary measurements of length, conversions and calculating perimeter, area and volume. Not to mention, the creativity that is coming through. One student is trying to replicate the United Center in space!