# Using Lego & Minecraft to Model Square and Cubic Numbers by @ElaniMcd

## Using the popular tools to support mathematical concepts.

When introducing exponents such as square and cubic numbers to grade 6 students, they are often unsure/unclear what these exponents represent. I started my unit by giving students an investigation into square and cubic numbers, and here is the outcome…

This is a re-blog post originally posted by Elani McDonald and published with kind permission.

The original post can be found here.

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Some of the students chose to use Lego’s to represent their cubes.
While other students used Minecraft to represent their squares and cubes:
Your doubt might be the same mine was – how do I know if they are playing or doing work? I was very honest in telling my students that I’m unsure whether they are working or playing, so we agreed that I will give them the benefit of the doubt and after completing 2 cubes, they had to ‘check-in’ with me and talk through their thought process. I was super surprised! We had an extensive discussion about the 2D nature of squares and why they had to blow away the ground and inlay the squares so that it remains 2D when looking at it from above, despite not being 2D anymore. Equally enlightening was the cube discussion!The verdict: Even though this was a relatively time consuming activity – it is really worth it and is something that I would highly recommend. Students constructed the knowledge for themselves. Don’t be afraid to let your students challenge you – I was hesitant about Minecraft, but my students demonstrated both their maturity and new ideas in my classroom. It’s ok if your unsure, but negotiate your uncertainty with your student and I’m sure you’ll be surprised!

Special thanks to: My two 6th grade classes at Halcyon London International School for allowing me to share their work. My colleague, Lenny Dutton  for encouraging me to start blogging!