I keep trying to tell myself that things are going to slow down as soon as I get over this last hill… but that is very rarely the case. This week has be complicated by traveling spouses; sick children; power outages; and crazy work schedules. Also, we’re getting into the full swing of the holiday season, so I KNOW things are just going to continue in their craziness.
For Givercraft this week, I’ve mostly been spending my time preparing my class for the project. It’s been confusing being a developer of the module and a participating teacher. There’s a ton of emails! And it was difficult for me to differentiate which message belonged to which role (Tiffany vs Mrs. Pickrell). I managed to get ahold of some sort of organization and did the following: downloaded the correct java on all class computers; downloaded the client on all class computers; set up student wikis; made huge strides in the reading of the The Giver; started having my student document which buildings were discussed in which chapter; and tested my students’ access to the Givercraft world.
My beta testing with students revealed that I may need to hash a few more things out. I had some students getting kicked off the server pretty quickly. I’m not certain if it’s a bandwidth issue, or a server one. I also turned on almost all the world options in survival mode, just to see how crazy we could get it. It was pretty insane. Again, more students were getting kicked out and the game froze on some of us for a little while. I may take them in for another beta testing session, but this time I’ll keep the monsters off and no fire.
I also participated in the teacher testing challenge. However, I didn’t really feel there was too much for me to contribute. Everyone else was doing such a fantastic job tutoring others! It was also good that I stayed out of it, as I will most likely be spending most of my energies with my class and just the occasional time slot. So how did I best spend my time? Well… I goofed off. But it was good! I was introduced to some amazing Minecraft builders! I never really do much with redstone, because I don’t really understand the mechanics of it. However, after some of the cool stuff I saw, I might be willing to learn. I eventually spent some of that time creating memory chests.
What I have left to do:
The memory chests need to be created, and I could use some help with that. Thomas has created the house of memories behind the HUB. I’ve already created a couple of chests labeled: “Snow” and “Happy Birthday.” Inside is a book with a task– “Create a memory using snow!” With some items to help them create such a memory (because they will NOT be in creative mode when they get this) and also in the book is a writing prompt– “Why do you think the community got rid of snow?” More chests would be greatly appreciated. We can make a memory of just about anything that The Community got rid of– holidays, sailing, animals, hills, etc.
I’m also still finishing up the rivers. I had a startling revelation as I was reading through The Giver– I put the rivers in the wrong spot. Or mostly, I didn’t leave enough space for construction on the other side of the river, like it says in the book. I was telling Lee and Thomas the other day and I wish I had had someone like Lori working with me, because her precise attention to detail would have saved me a lot of trouble. But it is what it is. I’m sure the students will adjust. And those who notice, well, that just means they’re reading their books and good for them!