Had an amazing day working with over thirty teachers at the launch of the Wonderful World of Roald Dahl – a literacy focused Minecraft project. The project was designed to celebrate the 100th birthday of the well loved author Roald Dahl by creating some of his iconic settings using Minecraft whilst developing their reading and writing skills. Please see the Sway below for an overview of the project.
The first session focused on developing purposeful reading activities for the project. We discussed a range of activities including: comparing texts and video clips, setting up reading stations, using images to develop higher order reading skills and mapping and sketching settings based on Roald Dahl’s novels. To promote school to school collaboration, I set up a network on Hwb, the all-Wales VLE, for teachers to discuss and share resouces. Please click the link to join the Hwb network:
We also shared the collaborative Hwb+ site which will be used by the pupils throughout the project to share work and discuss ideas. It is an excellent way to encourage schools to take part in meaningful collaboration by providing them with a safe environment to discuss ideas and share work. Pupils will use the site to share their Minecraft worlds and blog their final pieces of Roald Dahl inspired writing. Thank you Jane Grubb, from Central South Consortium, for creating the Hwb+ site and adding all the users.
The next session, using Minecraft in the classroom, was led by our Year 5 and 6 Digital Leaders. After showing teachers the basic controls, the children decided to set the teachers the challenge of creating their own Roald Dahl Minecraft settings. This was designed to take the fear out of using Minecraft in the classroom and show teachers that lots can be achieved in a sort session as long as its properly planned. Within twenty minutes each teacher had created settings using a range of Roald Dahl’s texts as their stimulus including: James and the Giant Peach, The BFG and of course… Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
I am incredibly proud of our Digital Leaders and the way they share their expertise with teachers from other schools. To date they have worked with teachers from over a hundred different schools.
They also shared a video to help teachers to set up their own Minecraft servers in their own classrooms:
During the afternoon we discussed how Minecraft work can be shared using Office Mix and OneNote Class Creator. During the OneNote session I shared a Roald Dahl themed class notebook used by children during the project. Teachers particularly liked the collaboration spaces and individual notebooks the children can access within OneNote.
Office Mix is also a really great tool for getting children to create videos about their Minecraft settings. The screen recording function allows the children to record as their wander through their worlds. They can also add a voiceover to accompany their virtual tour.
There are some really useful courses and videos about how to use Office Mix and OneNote in the classroom on Microsoft Educator Community website. It is a great CPD tool and an excellent way to share ideas with educators from across the world.
Thank you to all the schools who took part in the training event. Really looking forward to seeing the children’s Roald Dahl inspired Minecraft worlds. I’ll be posting some exciting news about the competition very soon.
If you’d like more information about the project please contact me using the details below.