I have waited to blog about the second session because our second, Blue group needed a bit more time – it started a week later. To catch up we have invited all club members to a field trip to the local museum to investigate range of materials used to build and decorate Wantage. Using our own, Minecraft themed treasure hunt game, we have asked our club members to look for items made of glass, stone, coal, metal and wood but also to search for museum specific items – bones, rats, jewellery, armour and fossils. Everyone was so busy! (We will use this trip next time we meet – in our third session dedicated to mining, crystals and physics.)
The Blue group joined us for their second session and worked on maths and crafting. Our club members spent 15 minutes designing their shed with a roof and a crafting table but each design was unique and very inventive! What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
Finally many of us met online again, in our Realm. This time it was a bit busy so we had to work out how to behave, help, build together and finally join one of our members for a virtual dinner – which was a lot of fun! The slide below pretty much sums it all up;)
We had more interest in our first week so we have decided to run another group – on Saturday from 3 to 4 PM. Please get in touch as soon as possible emailing firstname.lastname@example.org because we still have 6 spaces. If we have a full group by Friday we will start the second group.
…so please follow us their for club updates and learnings but also for Minecraft news, inspirations and cool projects. We have already benefited from our Twitter presents so if you support our idea and want to help, do follow us and help by re-sharing our important announcements.
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We had a great first session yesterday! I think children were fantastic in introducing themselves and talking about their passion for Minecraft. It was also nice to see parents staying with us and helping!
We have talked about our achievements scheme: children will work towards a title of Minecraft Master so they will need to showcase five major Minecraft skills but also choose their personal achievements. This way they will also focus on their own progress, not just group work.
Everybody was impressed with Finley’s video and the fact he has used Minecraft to complete his school home work:
We have then moved to the actual Minecraft play and work. We have asked all club members to build anything in 15 minutes but they had present it to the group later on. I think everyone did amazing job in focussing on their screen and when asked, presenting brilliant buildings, landscape design, natural scenes, ships and people. All this in 15 minutes!
At the end of the session we have been designing our skins, just like this one:
We have also talked a little bit about safe Internet practice and respectful, kind behaviour when playing Minecraft together with others. We are now practicing it in our Wantage Minecraft Realm and looking forward to our next session!
We have updated our info page with topics for our first semester. We will do our best to cover as many as we can, most of them through play in and outside of the game itself. Here they are:
- Experimenting with building and crafting on your own devices (offline)
- Safe Internet Practice, tech and health (preparing to play online in Realms, basic rules of how much time we should be spending online, healthy posture)
- Science and Minecraft (crystals, architecture, plants and animals, geography and map reading)
- Maths (multiplying, counting, planning constructions, using Minecraft to learn times tables)
- Literacy (journal writing, writing a Minecraft story, typing vs hand writing, writing crafting instructions)
- Arts and crafts (3D modelling, paper crafts, designing your avatars, Minecraft skins, Minecraft decorations)
- History (King Alfred and his times in Wantage, Minecraft resource packs)
Below you can find just a few examples of how Minecraft can be used for education – one-to-one lesson of maths, group work with physics and an offline experiment recreated in Minecraft. Enjoy!
We are starting our club in rather interesting times for Mojang, company that developed Minecraft idea. It looks like Mojang are actually considering selling the game to Microsoft and many Minceraft fans are not too happy about it. We will see what impact the sales will have on us, but for now we can only hope that if the sales comes through the new owners will care for the game community and functionality as much as its original fathers did.
In the meantime we have subscribed to our second Realm to allow our kids play freely. Originally we have planned to use one Realm – safe, closed Minecraft environment to allow our club participants to build our town there.During our summer testing of Wantage Tales Realm we, parents, have learned, however, that kids also need space to play, destroy, experiment with their ideas without the limitations of ‘reality’. They don’t like to follow instructions all the time – and actually they are right! Following instructions limits creativity and we do not want that.
We hope to find the right balance between fun and free creative play and the actual building process of Wantage in Minecraft. And so we have now subscribed to two Realms – one for our club called ‘Wantage Minecraft Club’ and one for those, who wish to focus on building our town in ‘Wantage Tales’ Realms.
We will discuss it in our session in more detail, but for now we are keeping an eye on the industry to see if the game will change owners and how that might affect us.
Starting today you might see our flyers in town. We are planning our first session for next Saturday and the Butler Centre are very excited about it too! We have been planning the club for over a year now with them and we really cannot wait to have fun! We already have four participants so please get in touch asap – places will be allocated based on first come, first serve basis. Just email me on email@example.com. Thank you!
Welcome to our first semester. School starts tomorrow in Wantage so we are very excited to see this website up and running. We hope you like it. We have now confirmed that our first set of sessions will be hosted at the Butler Centre on Saturdays at 1.30 PM – first meeting due 20 September. Their great, kids-friendly facilities will allow us to work on our devices and inside Minecraft but also make the most of offline play. Central location of their venue will allow out participants easy access too.
We need to rent the venue but we are keen on keeping access to technology for kids free so we have decided to cover the costs ourselves, but we hope that it’s only temporary – we will review it after our first series of sessions. If we do charge in the future, we will do our best to keep the costs down and work towards gaining new sponsors so that our kids can enjoy the magic of Minecraft for education this semester and in the future.
We do have a limited amount of spaces though so to register please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading!
UPDATE: please note that all posts in this category were archived on the original website and moved to my central blog. Wantage Pixel Club is now closed.