Tuesday, 13 May 2014

What are they learning?

So I have been reflecting on what learning is actually happening in my maths classes at the moment. While we are supposed to be doing measurement revision, are we really doing it? My answer is, "we are getting there but….." Some students are doing a lot of revision, others are only just beginning, but the learning they have been doing extends beyond the maths. My frustrations are lessening, the students are beginning to learn how to behave in a different, virtual class, as well as learning how to concentrate on a task for a bit longer than they are used to.

So what is the plan from here, would I do this again? I probably wouldn't use this as my first activity with a new class again. I think the learning curve, and the need to follow instructions in the virtual world is a little to much. I would start with a more teacher controlled lesson, a lesson that is perhaps less 'high risk' than this, one where I could have more impact on the experience, rather than one that is so 'hands off' in game.

Don't get me wrong, I think the lesson is great, I really think it is a very engaging way to do revision, but it will take about 4 hours, if the students are already proficient at the whole learning in Minecraft thing. 1 lesson/hour on the tutorial and setup, possibly a bit less and a bit less than an hour on each section. This of course does not leave them any time to actually complete the 'test' in game to launch their shuttle. So perhaps adding another hour or so would be beneficial in giving a more complete and enjoyable experience to the students.

So I have 2 students who are streaks ahead of the rest of the class, pretty much a whole lesson in front. So those two have nearly completed the volume section, which means they have the final volume question and also the conversion section to complete. These two will probably not get the opportunity to work on their shuttle either as the test (the old fashioned pen and paper way) is happening on Thursday, so tomorrow is our final lesson.

Ideally I would like to make this map a revision and test map. So the final test is to get the shuttle ready to launch by building it and getting the materials needed by answering questions correctly. Unfortunately this is not going to happen in this iteration of the map for these students. Partially because I am working closely with another teacher and we are working really hard to do the same assessments under the same conditions. The other main reason is I just don't think these students are ready for that kind of assessment. Despite their improvements I think it would still be an issue for them to be able to use their time efficiently and appropriately at this stage, hopefully next time.

Thanks for reading, a final reflection, and sharing of the post-lesson survey data will hopefully be posted tomorrow. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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