Just started my unit on coding in Minecraft. It’s 8th grade and their first introduction to text-based coding. Scaffolding — they’ve all done Scratch and LEGO robots in 7th grade, and GameMaker in 8th grade. So this is our first dive into the deep end…..
I’m using what I call Mython (Minecraft and Python), based on the Adventures in Minecraft book by Whaley and O’Hanlon. I gave out a packet of 8-9 introductory Python programs which they typed in. the purpose was to get them used to typing code and learn some basics along the way. The programs are from the Adventures book mainly and do things like display text in the chat, track the player’s position, and build things. I don’t expect them to understand it all.
Today I introduced what I call Reverse Hackpack #1. It’s a series of coding challenges that are slight modifications of the code they already did. They have to figure out how they did something like that in the previous code and then make changes. I’m making badges/stickers for completion, and they have to explain the code to me to earn their badge. Here’s a link to that if you’d like it.
This is my first try at this approach but I’m liking it so far, and the kids seem to be not only enjoying it but learning. As I told them today, “If you’re not frustrated, you’re not learning!”