Target 3–Flexible Learning Environments. FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.

Action Step 2 – Develop opportunities for students to collaborate, innovate, create and conceptualize in all learning settings

Indicator of Success – Students are engaged in answering authentic questions and solving problems in collaborative settings.

lee2Fourth graders in Mrs. Lee’s class at GEMS had math class in a different location than usual. Instead of meeting in their classroom, they all met in Minecraft. For three class periods, the students learned about factors while logged in to MinecraftEdu is a school-ready remix of the original smash hit game Minecraft with features designed especially for classroom use to let users connect and play together in a safe controlled environment.


In their first class, students were able to complete some training in Minecraft to learn how to navigate in this new world. Students were able to explore how to move, build, gather supplies and communicate with other online classmates. They also learned about the educational expectations of being good digital citizens in this popular game.


In the next class, students were placed on teams and given a math design challenge. Each member of the team was given 13 blocks giving each team a total of 36 blocks to design rectangles. As a team, they had to work together to find all of the different sized rectangles.


In the final class, students were then challenged to take the information they had learned from the previous lesson and now create three dimensional boxes. Teams had to collaborate and use trial and error to solve the challenges. Teams persevered and were ultimately successful and proud of their creative work. With the knowledge and confidence gained, students have now asked for newer and harder challenges in the exciting world of Minecraft.

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