Youcubed out of Stanford is on a mission to reframe mathematics education. That there is no such thing as a math person, we are all good at math!
Week of Inspirational Math
The first step is to help students to have a growth mindset towards math. Youcubed provides what they call “Week of Inspirational Math.” Youcubed has a lot of activities that are designed to get students thinking about math visually and creatively. Helping them to realize that math is about pattern finding. There is more than one approach to mathematics.
Week of Inspirational Math (WIM) is good for ALL grade levels.
There are several ways you can use WIM for remote learning. If you are doing live sessions with students, this is a great opportunity to ask them questions and have them share their thinking. Use jamboard.google.com to create collaborative visualization space with students or try awwapp.com.
Click here for a Google Sites I created with a Jamboard Jam template for students to find patterns from Cuisenaire Rods. The advantage to a Jam is it is a Google Apps document. It saves to Google Drive. Can be easily added to a Google Classroom assignment. Jams have multiple pages, each student can share their visual strategy in the same document.
Math is creative and visual.
Many of the WIM activities are PDFs that you can share with parents to help them to have math conversations with their children.
While commonly thought of as just a game, Minecraft is actually the ultimate remote learning tool. It is a creative learning space. Many students already have Minecraft on their phones or computers. As I was looking at how to adapt the WIM activities for remote learning with Google tools the whole time I am thinking…. this should be done in Minecraft! I created 2 of the WIM activities: Rod Trains and Painting Youcubed. Once I get some feedback and feel confident I have a final draft I will add the lessons to the education.minecraft.net website. For now they are saved in OneDrive for you to download and share with students. You can attach a Minecraft world to Google Classroom or whatever platform you use just like you would any file such as a document or video.
If you are willing to accept a video for an assignment, you can teach with Minecraft – Jon Corippo
ONE of the common ways students submit a Minecraft lesson is by creating a screencast video explaining their learning. Give students the option to do the activity using Minecraft. You do not need to know anything else.
No Premade Lessons Are Better
While I was making the Rod Trains lesson in Minecraft, I asked my 16 year old if she would take a stab at making the Ice Cream Scoop activity in Minecraft. Since there is no ice cream in Minecraft I told her to be creative to do something besides ice cream. What I thought would take 20 minutes instead took her hours…. because she built a whole “carvana” glass structure that when you pull levers it fills it with sheep that you use dye to color ice cream colors then pull a lever to have them fall through a shoot onto a roller coaster….. ?????? The amount of creativity and critical thinking she put into this blew my mind!
Then I asked myself… why the heck am I making these Minecraft youcubed lessons??? HAVE THE STUDENTS DO IT!
Give the students to the Week of Inspirational math activity you want to use for the week and ask them to build it in Minecraft. End of directions. Now sit back and be prepared to have your mind blown with what students come up with.