“It takes a community to raise a child, but it takes a classroom of students to make for meaningful learning experiences - we are our best resource!
Let’s collaborate, create, and learn together!”
See how Kerry-Ann van der Merwe who teaches Digital Technology (Grades 000 - 3) and Grade 5 Natural Science (IEB) at Steyn City School, Fourways, uses CURIOSITY to awaken her students’ minds and scaffold their learning through collaboration!
With this Natural Science unit, I wanted my students to learn about Food Chains and be able to differentiate between Food Chains and Food Webs. It was also important that my students meaningfully demonstrated their understanding of Food Chains and how these have different and/or similar animals/organisms, dependent on the biome selected. And, of course, I wanted them to be able to demonstrate their answer to our driving question:
This learning facilitated the development of the following content identified in the IEB curriculum:
I made use of a Wakelet Collection, in which I AppSmashed and curated, to present our Lesson Content. The link was shared in our Microsoft Team so that students attending in-person lessons and those learning from home could all make use of the information at any time - especially to refer to during their Minecraft Build.
For the introduction of the task itself, another Wakelet Collection was shared with the class and discussed in detail prior to the commencement of the Minecraft Build Wakelet.
We then discussed the Habitats/Biomes found in South Africa, as well as the possible food chains found there. Students were required to build their own knowledge by conducting research into the various habitats and biomes.
Then the students watched a crash course about food chains and food webs in a Wakelet guided learning eduventure.
The students then had to use the screen record function on their iPads to record their “walk-throughs” of their builds, their explanation of the food chains, and sharing the information that they discovered about their chosen biomes.
After a demonstration of how to use the iPad’s “screen record function” to video and do voiceovers of their Minecraft Habitat, Food Chain, and Habitat Facts, I then demonstrated how to upload the clip, from the iPad, onto the Flipgrid.
My students successfully demonstrated their understanding, practiced their teamwork skills, as well as learned how to delegate tasks and keep to a time management plan - all very necessary skills for the workplace someday.
Minecraft Education Edition allows for students to demonstrate their understanding of the content in a creative and non-threatening way - a fun way to assess!
I missed being able to pull these builds through into a Virtual Reality format this year so that the students could have the opportunity to “walk through” each others’ worlds and peer assess and experience this task on another level. COVID did not allow us to do this with our VR goggles at school!
It is vitally important to equip our students with 21st-century skills, while teaching them how to work with different people, as well as how to regulate themselves, in terms of their behaviour, to ensure that the task is completed in a way that demonstrates their pride, effort, and ownership of their learning.
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