As of September, the new school term started without me. Although not entirely, as I have already been back into school to teach on supply, to complete work on the school website and to run a weekly Minecraft Club. These visits to school have been welcome and enjoyable – I have especially enjoyed working with the children and staff, particularly at a time when I would otherwise have been home alone, waiting for my course to start in October.
So far I have run three weekly Minecraft Club sessions. This post is an attempt to make a note of some of my random observations from the first. I haven’t so-far taken any formal notes or had any particular focus – this will (hopefully!) come further down the line. For now, it’s been nice to get the children set up and enjoying interacting within the game.
The club runs from 3.30 – 4.45, after school, once per week. There are 14 participants, a mix of boys and girls. As usual, participation is voluntary. I am familiar with the group of children as I taught them for a year when they were in Y4, as part of a mixed Y4 and Y5 group. They do (I think) still see me as a teacher, and my most recent supply days have been in their class. Participation is voluntary. On the initial letter to the children it was made clear that I may occasionally ask them to do some writing – my thought is that this will be in the form of informal reflections about what they have done, but I will see as the weeks progress.
Session 1 – We discussed the objectives for the club – to build a community space. Children made brief notes on what they thought a community might need. We also discussed rules for the session and they made some notes on these too. Quite a lot of time was spent sorting out technical issues, updating the computers, getting logged in etc. Once things were working, the children got to work building on a totally flat space. I took a few screenshots, hoping to capture some of the action.
Notable was the start of co-construction, by at least two girls, of the giant ‘One Direction’ mural.
Regular use was made of the chat log.
As usual there were some initial conflicts about who was in whose space. Children also seemed to be eager to find out who was using what avatar. Many children (particularly boys?) were eager to build using fire and TNT, in spite of the fact that the impact of these had been disabled.