Throughout the internship I found it easiest to identify the potential differentiated needs of students with a similar Minecraft experience as myself. My differentiated tools therefore leaned towards helping students who were new to the game. In Givercraft Amanda, Ali, and I created chests filled with books of memories for teachers to hand out to students who couldn’t find their own. This was a tool I immediately connected with as I needed ample help myself as I fumbled my way through Minecraft. My contribution to the tool was to fill approximately two of the large chests with books. Each book was filled with a memory from the Giver for students to recreate in Minecraft as well as a thought provoking question about the memory to be used as a writing prompt on the wiki. Being new to Minecraft and the story line for The Giver, this took a significant number of hours. Especially since I accidentally broke and destroyed a full large chest when checking inventories to make sure all chests were full. Three more hours. However it was time well spent as our books of memories were definitely used. The screenshots below that I took at the end of Givercraft show our depleted book inventory which indicates teachers found and gave the books to students.
We made a sufficient number of books with memories and it was clearly a tool that was used. I also found scenes in the game that were created from the memories in the books we provided, although I was unable t0 prove if it was from one of our memories or one they found on their own. However, in the wiki I found a student that provided a screenshot of a memory. The wording identified the memory as one of ours which confirms the students did in fact need and use our differentiated tool. Success. Our differentiated tool was just what this student needed to continue on their learning path.
I spent a significant amount of time thoroughly reading the wiki following up on students’ work. A couple of students in one class mentioned they did not find a memory and made up their own. We found out from the end survey that this was per instructions for the class. Of the two out of five teachers that completed our survey, one teacher shared that out of 3 classes 75% of their students received memories from them. Both teachers that responded said the tool was easy to access and find and their students appreciated being given memories in scenario 2.
Unfortunately my newbie status in Minecraft seemed to be more of a hindrance than a help when I entered the world (picture things accidentally being broken, getting myself completely lost that I could do nothing else but end the game etc.) so I did not provide much support while students and teachers were in the game. However, I did regular checks of the progress ‘after hours’. Once I had to rebuild the wall on one of our houses of memories and I also observed some builders for a while to see what they were up to. I used the Live Minutes app to check in almost daily to see if anyone needed assistance but it was very quiet. I forgot to take screenshots in Givercraft but my favorite scene by far was the cargo airplane in the sky and the dome building used for the ceremonies . I assume the kids must have watched the movie because the dome was an exact replica from the film. I was surprised by the number of students who had not read the book before starting Givercraft, it soon became obvious in the game.
Due to the success of our books of memories in Givercraft, Amanda, Ali, and I again collaborated to fill chests with supplies, this time we provided food and tools, in a secret teacher-only world. The idea again was for teachers to have supplies to hand out to their students who were struggling with the basics of the game. My contribution to the tool creation involved making and filling five large chests with foods that would quickly increase a player’s hunger bar. I helped to edit the explanation of our tool for the Teacher Training page, as well I created the screen cast explaining how to use our tool for the teacher training. Once again my experience, and also schedule, only allowed for me to document student progress, and their need for direction and guidance, after hours. I read the wiki and made frequent visits to the world and found the following:
Our differentiated tool was used by teachers and therefore students. It appears the food was more of a necessity than the tools however, they were both used. Students expressed frustration in the wiki about trying to stay alive long enough to do anything. Our supplies of tools and food were able to help these students students survive so they could focus on playing the game.
I also wanted to include my favorite LOTF creation, a game room for I believe it was called ‘Chicken Ball’. I wanted to play!
Overall, our differentiated tools were successful in keeping our targeted students engaged and on their individual learning path. The wikis revealed many students were totally new to Minecraft and needed help in navigating the game. In Surivorcraft, a number of students expressed deep frustration about trying to survive. In both situations our diffi tool helped remedy the situation. There were also students present who were Minecraft experts, some helped their groups along while others seemed to have no prior knowledge of the book and/or did their own thing. The whole experience was an interesting mix and a situation that called for numerous levels of differentiation.
In looking at both the Givercraft and Survivorcraft experiences on the wikis I noticed one teacher’s class seemed unengaged and happier to just goof off during their Givercraft experience, whether it was from lack of motivation or not knowing how to play. However in Survivorcraft that same class seemed to become slightly more productive and engaged. It appeared they were not participating in the wiki on a regular basis which made outreach difficult. As Mia had stated on my blog “Having minimal contact or access to students makes it feel like a guessing GAME sometimes.” However, something made them more productive the second time around. I believe it was the differentiation tools provided by our class that helped make it so.
1) I chose GerJulia’s work to evaluate as she managed to document both The MazeRunner and Lord of the Flies. GerJulia came into the experience familiar with Minecraft and collaborating efficiently with peers in the creation of the maze. She expressed concern over the size of their glade as she “hoped it had a enough room for everything” demonstrating her knowledge of the book. She expressed frustration with trolls, poor connections, a fire that destroyed their forest, and having to log out due to someone throwing invisible potions but she was conveying information rather than complaining and continued to move forward. She explained what they were building and why, “We built a hole like the griever hole in the book that leads to the way out”. In LOTF GerJulia immediately found trouble being put in the hole and having her house destroyed. She instinctually ran away and began building with people in her group displaying once again her effective collaboration. She managed to survive and collect supplies for herself and others, demonstrating her Minecraft skills as well as strong leadership and being a team player.
Rubric evaluation for GerJulia:
CCS 1.Key ideas and Details: Met – uses phrases to indicate construction followed text as quoted above
CCS 2.Key ideas and details: Not Met – did not document themes in the wiki
CCS 2. Key ideas and details: Exceeds – explains being killed and supplies destroyed by MrG
CCS 9. Research to build and present knowledge: Not Applicable – no evidence that student built skills in Minecraft through online research, seemed to begin the game with strong Minecraft skills
CCS 7. Integration of knowledge and ideas: Met – Uses Minecraft blocks, screenshots and text to assist in demonstrating her understanding
CCS 9. Integration of knowledge and ideas: Not Met – Did not present analysis of similar themes
NETS -1 a. & b. Exceeds – Created a system of behavior and way of working which enhanced world in book with positive attitude and being a team player
NETS 1 c. Exceeds – Fully engaged in Minecraft environment to explore simulation of the world of the text, “adding vines to the walls inside and around the maze and the glade”
NETS 2 a. & 2.b. Met – Used wiki and Minecraft to collaborate and communicate with other students
NETS 2. b. Exceeds – Demonstrated a willingness and ability to communicate and collaborate with other participants who are at a distance, helped others struggling to survive in LOTF
NETS 2. c. Exceeds – Led and contributed with a group to build maze and survive in LOTF
NETS 5. a,b,&d. Exceeds – Demonstrated excellent digital citizenship, minding the rules and remaining positive through many setbacks (fire, trolling, poor server connections)
NETS 5.c. Exceeds – Shared supplies in LOTF with others
Overall grade: A. GerJulia exceeded in all the NETS standards and met all but the two CCS criteria relating to documenting themes.
2) I chose SiCasper as he contributed more to the wiki than the rest of his class. He posted multiple screenshots with minimal explanation of his progress, including his creation of pi when he admittedly “got bored”. His screenshots included a couple from Scenario 3 for the MazeRunner. He did not contribute anything about the Lord of the Flies experience so I am evaluating solely on his work in The MazeRunner.
Rubric Evaluation for SiCasper:
CCS 1.Key ideas and Details: Met – Mentions they made the box and the glade
CCS 2.Key ideas and details: Not Met – Did not identify the themes in the text via wiki
CCS 2. Key ideas and details: Not Met – No analysis of character motives, most screenshots are of himself or friends
CCS 9. Research to build and present knowledge: Not applicable – Appears to have had the Minecraft skills from the start. Managed to build ‘pi’ and get off track without any help. No mention of online research or sharing skills.
CCS 7. Integration of knowledge and ideas: Met – Used screenshots and text to demonstrate their understanding of the Maze and how it was constructed
CCS 9. Integration of knowledge and ideas: Not Met – No theme analysis present
NETS -1 a. & b. Not Met – Created an accurate portrayal of the world in MazeRunner, there is no evidence of contributions that are individual expressions of the student (related to the book anyway)
NETS 1 c. Met – Student engaged somewhat within Minecraft to explore simulation of the world in the text
NETS 2 a. & 2.b. Met – Used wiki to communicate work through collaboration with group photo
NETS 2. b. Not Met – Provided not effort to communicate or collaborate with others at a distance
NETS 2. c. Met – Referred to ‘we’ in the making of the glade and shared group shots when in game with others therefore contributing within a group to enhance building
NETS 5. a,b,&d. Not Met – May have distracted others from their task with the building of Pi
NETS 5.c. Not Met – There is no indication the student reached out for resources on playing Minecraft nor shared any of their Minecraft knowledge with anyone.
Overall Grade: F. SiCasper did not meet the majority of standards set forth for this project. By not having contact with the student I am unsure what contributed to this but I can safely assume he needed more guidance to keep him on his learning path.
Survivalcraft Rubric. Retrieved from http://www.givercraft.com/unit-plan.html