During our Significant 72 this year, I learned a lot about my students. One thing that really stood out to me was the number of students that are afraid of or intimidated by MATH! I knew from day one that in order to truly teach these kids Math, I would need to make it fun and relate it to their nine-year old lives. Another fact I learned about my students in those first few days was their love for MINECRAFT! There are so many ways to make Minecraft educational, especially in Math!
The first Math unit teaches students to multiply and divide multi-digit numbers using a variety of strategies. One of those strategies is the area model. Using the area model gives students a deeper understanding of multiplication and place value. It was not an easy concept for my kids to understand at first but after introducing the first Real World Experience as a Minecraft project their interest level skyrocketed! The energy they had for the tasks and the willingness to give their best effort was astonishing.
The first task in our Real World Experience for this unit was to create a Minecraft character on graph paper. The students LOVED this activity. Here are some of the characters that my students created!
The second and third tasks involved using their picture to calculate how many tiles they would need to recreate it on the wall of the school and then how much it would cost them.
It felt so real for them! I heard kids say, "Oh my gosh! We need $1,728 to make this! Mr. Scaletta would never allow that!"
It was amazing to see these fourth graders get so involved in a subject that can be so intimidating!