Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Welcome to Our World!

Hi There!

Welcome to the page that is going to document a very exciting endeavor.  Creating a world of Minecraft in a classroom.  What a concept.  Especially for a 4th grade teacher and her students.  But that's EXACTLY what we're doing.

Let's start off with an introduction.

My name is Joanna Hill, and I'm a 4th grade teacher.  I teach in a highly diverse school in Southwest Missouri.  Our little town is a hub of many cultures, backgrounds, religions, and languages.  I am lucky enough to teach kids that come from all over the world, and it's an amazing place to be a teacher.

Which is why bringing the world of Minecraft in to the classroom is such an exciting opportunity.

My students will be working together to create their own world.  They will collaborate, design, create, and build everything and anything they need.  They will be using math, science, social studies, reading, social, and leadership skills to complete the tasks put in front of them.

This blog will be a way for me to share the fun and learning that's taking place in our classroom.  I am learning right along with my students, so this is a great place for us to document our trials and tribulations for bringing the Minecraft learning platform to life.

Many wonder how on earth playing a video game can help students learn.  I'm here to tell you that not only will they learn, but they will expand their educational horizons beyond any limits I could ever set for them.  In the world of Minecraft, they are the teachers as well as the students. They must work together, agree, establish, experiment, and apply many learning standards and content areas.  In a matter of a couple of hours a week, I can guide the students through traveling places they've only ever dreamed about, and applying all of their learned skills in the process.

This isn't just about playing a game.  It's about expanding their minds.  Challenging them, testing them, and urging them to think "outside the box" and become masters of their virtual destiny.

My kiddos are so excited to jump in and learn as much as they can, and I am too!!  We are also very excited to share our journey with anyone willing to watch, listen, and learn right along with us.  I will be sharing every lesson, every resource, and every piece of information that I can to help convince other teachers out there of the learning potential that the game of Minecraft has to offer.

So, visit often.  Feel free to post comments, ask questions, and make suggestions for anything you'd like to see.  This site will be a joint collaboration between my class and me.  I'll be doing the authoring, but they will be my editors and advisers, helping however they can to make this place informative and fun.  As much as they are very excited about being the only class in our school doing this project, it's important to them that they are apart of convincing other teachers to take part in such an educational opportunity.

Thanks for stopping by...there's plenty more to come!!

Ms. Hill


  1. Hi Joanna,

    I am an educator from New Jersey, and I teach a grad class on Ed Tech. We are looking at gaming in the classroom and your blog post here intrigues me. We would love to ask you some more questions about how you are doing this. Are you free for a quick Google Hangout this evening (3.20.14)?

  2. Sure!! Would love to. I will be available anytime after 7PM CST. Feel free to email me and let me know what works for you.

  3. I was hoping to catch you earlier. My grad students are working with this concept this week, but our class ends at 8EST. Perhaps next week?

    1. Next week might be better. Sorry I have a late meeting tonight.

  4. Hi! As a fellow teacher I think it is great that you are trying this out! I just have one question: will you be playing in one world, collaboratively, or will each student have their own world?

    1. We will be playing together in one world. All of my students will collaborate and work together within that world to design and build.

  5. Hi Joanna,

    I'm currently researching the possibilities of using minecraft within ESL classrooms to help encourage participation and motivation - I'm wondering if you can tell me about any current research that I could use? Any help would be greatly appreciated.