Working Mathematically Students:
Students (and Mr Ferguson) are now developing their building skills with Sim-on-a-Stick (virtual world on a USB) and their school design models are taking shape. Four students are using Minecraft in survival mode so have had to source, survive and build everything from scratch. From mining sandstone, iron, coal and redstone to creating glass for windows. Both these virtual tools are very similar but also quite different and the whole maths class is working extremely well to problem solve. They are also in partnerships or small groups and this requires them to be respectful of each others strenghths/weaknesses and further develop their problematic thinking skills as they work through this project together.
Students commenced building almost immediately today. Firstly, they had to decide what buildings from both their design plans they wanted to keep. For the students using minecraft who were in a group of four this required quite a bit of consultation but eventually all students collaborated and agreed on their final design. The class worked extremely well together and quickly picked up the measurement tools necessary to build to scale. A few students built a wall around their school area without checking the size and ended up with walls that were nearly 500m long. That is a big campus!! They needed to recheck their sizing and start again or adjust their build according to plan specifications.
The students using minecraft are skilled builders and therefore are building in survival also to scale. They have been mining for their resources and have already selected and cleared their arid biome to reflect Afghanistan geography.
Next week we check our plans and buildings against the UNICEF Child Friendly Schools criteria.
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Students have just started on a rich maths project linked to UNICEF and their Child Friendly Schools Manual.
Their task is:Students introduced to a 'Big Idea' humanitarian problem: How can we design and build a school for a small community in Afghanistan that uses sustainable practices, is sympathetic with the local culture and is a place of learning and reflection for the whole community? Students identify features of the local environment and how these affect the community. They research, plan and design a built environment [school] that meets the needs of users and incorporates sustainable environmental practices.
Students use maths skills in area, measurement and mapping; Science and Technology skills to plan and build sustainably; English skills to document their work through multimedia and modal forms; Historical enquiry skills to develop an understanding of real-life global problems and the importance of aid agencies such as UNICEF and the Aga Khan Development Network.
Today architect Joe Weigerinck, from Creative Innovation Architects, visited and led students through the initial design process and planning. Students created bubble maps as rough plan and then started drawing their rooms to scale on large graph paper. Before we knew it time was up....This project will continue every Tuesday and the students will be building models of their plans using Sim-on-a-Stick (a stand alone virtual world on a USB) and MinecraftEdu.