Teacher Review For Minecraft

The Most Engaging Sandbox Game

Darren D.
Classroom teacher
Cottonwood Creek Elementary School
Englewood, CO
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 5
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 4
Support 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
I started using Minecraft last year due to pressure from my students to bring the game into school. At first, I learned how to play the game hand-in-hand with students who were the experts. Quickly, I found just playing the game was not enough to support standards and learning goals. So, I started to have students work on the engineering design process by creating prototypes in the world for design challenges or created a problem that needed to be solved in the world. Eventually, major projects were developed in the world including building the thirteen colonies and solving math problems by working in small groups and showing evidence of thinking in the world of Minecraft.
My Take
Overall. Minecraft is a HIGHLY engaging site and app. that attracts more boys as opposed to girls who want to play. Minecraft is a wide open sandbox game and teachers who are just starting to adopt need to be wary of management issues. In other words, structure what you want to have students accomplish and have clear norms on how to play to prevent chaos.