Tuesday, January 05, 2021


 We are finally getting to the 3rd marking period and for me, that means using MinecraftEDU with our gifted students to create Rube Goldberg Machines. As a middle school librarian, I do not have regularly scheduled classes but I do get to push into classes when I have some library skills to train or something unique to offer. During COVID that can mean anything. This year it has mostly meant teaching students how to virtually request books from the library and have them magically delivered to your homeroom or ELA class. I have also taught students how to find and use e-books and audiobooks from our online MackinVIA service. It has been rewarding watching the percentage of virtual book checkouts soar and also sad to see physical book checkouts plummet. Students are not allowed to browse shelves right now, that was the best way to do book selection but now they must rely only on the 

But, I have spent the past 4 plus months working on becoming a Minecraft Certified Teacher so that I could lead the class into the Minecraft World and ultimately create a Rube Goldberg Machine in that virtual space.

We have a maker space in our library and usually, the gifted classes create Rube Goldberg Machines out of cardboard and other maker space materials. This year we are not allowed to share materials in the maker space due to COVID. You may say the maker space is in quarantine. So, to keep the project going, I looked into ways we could create the machines virtually. Thanks to #MinecraftMentor Mrs. Steve Issacs for answering my questions and to Mr. Steve Issacs for his inspiration, video tutorials, and youtube videos of his student work. I am making an all flat word so everyone has a level playing field but I am not sure if I am going to allow mods or not, I have seen them work as part of a Minecraft Rube Goldberg Machine but I don't want the students to get caught up in mobs and lose sight of what they are creating. I'll post again when we have something to show.