Today I threw caution to the wind and let my students play Minecraft in class..... sort of.......
Students were allowed into a fresh world and given the task of working out how many logs are required to make a full set of wood tools. This included a workbench, pick, axe, shovel, hoe and sword. Once they had completed that I asked them to list the ingredients for each item in terms of P for planks and S for sticks. The third part of the task was to put each item back into how many logs are required for each of them. They wrote their answers/calculations in a book in game.
Some students finished this quite early, so for those who were ready to move on I gave them the task of working out the above 3 for a full set of stone tools. Now they thought this would be super easy, but they needed to make sure that they included the workbench and also the wooden pick which makes it a little trickier.
After that they were tasked with the iron set, which meant they needed to include the workbench, wood pick, stone pick, furnace and wood for smelting the iron on top of all the raw materials for the tools themselves.
It was really interesting to listen to the 'out loud' thinking that was going on as students were trying to work all of this out in terms of L, P, S, C and I. What a way to introduce algebra.