Well today was Day 2 of the Minecraft Code Club. Actually it was Day 1 again for a second group. This time it was for Grade 3’s. I modified the session a little bit based upon the feedback received in the first session and I think it went even better. We increased the Silent Brainstorming activities before we got involved in looking at any code. The kids did their introductory artwork on their favorite Minecraft things but then I also asked them what they wanted to learn. As usual with Silent Brainstorming, I always see ideas I never expected.
Here are some of the things they wanted to learn today:
- Build a portal
- Fight an Ender Dragon (I don’t even know what that is!)
- Ride a pig, cow, and wolf
- How to make a castle
- Make a pig fly
- Make jewels
Difference between boys and girls
One thing I was fascinated with today was the difference in a session dominated by boys versus dominated by girls. The first session was almost entirely boys, the session today was almost entirely girls.
As the kids worked through the session, I made the following observations:
1) The girls were much more collaborative and social. They went out of their way to make sure other tables were being as successful as they were.
2) The girls were not competitive. They were more concerned about everyone being successful than about being first.
3) The girls were also much more open to ask questions. There was no hesitation to ask questions and to try and get help for what they wanted to do.
I should also say that my son Matthew also helped in the session and he was awesome. Couldn’t have done it without him and I was very proud how he helped everyone. I joked with Matthew he could be a teacher – he just said maybe and smiled.
The other observation I had was that Grade 3 would be the absolute youngest I would do the class with. Although they picked up on items quickly, they did less exploring and problem solving if they lost their way. They still grasped the concepts quickly, but maybe were a little less comfortable in the game and with a computer. They still did review the Java code and picked out the words that made sense to them. They also grasped what would happen if I assigned a large number to length…
They did validate that the model of teaching code to them that I am showing does resonate. When I talked about giving the Minecraft program a needle with our code, they laughed and understood that we were doing something to change a large program. (although we did have to clarify that the needle would not hurt)
In the next class I’m actually going to show them how we give the program a needle… Yes boy and girls we are going to compile code!!!