Minecraft in Math class!

Many of us, math teachers, discuss how we can work with our students on certain mathematical content. The demands of the curricular goals, the formality and the distance that they can have to reality are challenges that we must overcome.

It is not the purpose of this publication to talk about this subject, but I share with you an activity that I developed with my students from Instituto dos Pupilos do Exército. You will be able to verify the students’ involvement in the whole process and their willingness to be in the classroom and learn math.

The goal was simple, recreating three quadrangular pyramids of the Gizé pyramid complex in Minecraft.

How was this work developed?

The pyramids of Keops, Kephren and Snefru are the three largest pyramids in height and students would have to recreate them in Minecraft. But how did they proceed? This is the stage where the work has moved into the working groups.

After studying the construction of the pyramids, checking the shape of the base, knowing the length of the sides and height, it was necessary to make some calculations. If each block in Minecraft actually corresponded to 2.7 meters, how many blocks would it take to form the base? Done the calculations and the respective roundings began the constructions.

They verified that for the pyramid of Kéops, whose base has 230 x 230 meters, they would have to put 85,2 blocks (230: 2,7 = 85,2) and that rounded to the unit would correspond to 85 blocks. In total, filling the base of the Keops pyramid, it was required to have 7225 cubes which corresponds to the 852.

At the end they found the following values:

 This activity was included in the subject Proportions / Direct Proportionality and allowed to revise the basic mathematical relations.

Classroom 3.0 – an experience at Instituto dos Pupilos do Exército

futureclHave you ever heard of efficiency consultants, 3D food chefs, urban farmers, psychologists and plants therapists, experts in nano-weapons, avatars designers or Nano-doctors?

Probably not because these are professions that do not yet exist but that could employ millions of people within two decades.

In a recent article, Thomas Frey, executive director of the Da Vinci Institute, revealed that in result of high technological progress, by 2030 more than two million jobs will disappear, giving way to new occupations. For example, the drones or car without a driver will create new air and road traffic experts

In this great transformation, the role and responsibilities of teachers in an education process, is more than ever crucial. In addition to the transmission of knowledge, it is up to these educators, increasingly, to provide future generations with the twenty-first century skills.59d0bf55e3c8a770903fcba6a65bec3e

And indeed, in the past few years’ teachers develop activities involving pupils in the learning process by promoting collaboration between peers, self-regulation abilities, capability to solve real problems, and the use of ICTs. This concern has brought my attention and I am betting on this. This past year, along with the teacher of Natural Sciences, Maria Alexandra Gonçalves, we wanted to challenge ourselves to promote activities in order to meet these goals. This is the reason why we created “xTreme Classroom” project: we wanted to take the classroom to a next level, through the use of technologies such as internet, tablets or coding. We developed a set of activities in which the teacher should guide the students’ work in the classroom, giving them feedback of the progress tasks and promoting them the discussion in groups.

In mathematics for example, we make the use of applications such as Geogebra to explore geometry and other apps to explore concepts and math relations. It is intended, by manipulating these interactive software that they will be able to develop and take pleasure in discovering more about the new technology. Simultaneously, the teacher accompanying the different working groups launches improvement suggestions and fixes possible issues. Something that has also aroused the curiosity of the youngest, has been OneNote, “the best digital notebook” (see more). This app keeps the classes structured and organized by tabs and pages. Students can integrate information (text, vídeos, imagens) and create notes. Teachers can give real-time feedback and corrections in class. This is a very important aspect, since we can provide immediate feedback for improvements. Students see it and can accept or discuss these suggestions. Furthermore, this project integrates coding in the process of learning, which gives the possibility for students, through games, to develop their logical and deductive reasoning. In this case students work with Kodu and participate in the worldwide initiative One Hour of Code with Minecraft (see more).


Finally, we get out of the classroom and study math relations outside. With Surface (see more), students discover Thales theorem and discover the height of different objects. They were engaged in discovering how to build a kite, create a project, a prototype and finally the kite itself. Challenge and engage them with math concepts in real life situations is the meaning of learning.


In Natural Sciences classes, Alexandra Gonçalves and myself, also adapted the technology for schoolwork by using Skype in the Classroom  as an example (see more). To do this, we just needed a webcam, speakers, computer and internet connection. The aim is to demystify the concept of class as a closed space, but to create the idea that we learn everywhere. There have been classes, that without leaving the school, the pupils were able to interview experts from Lisbon Zoo about animals in danger of extinction. In addition, students can ask questions and do researches on the subject, while they end up developing communication and dialogue skills.

Inspire yourself in the Educator Community. Connect and collaborate, find training and lessons, and so many more (here).

Instituto dos Pupilos do Exército is a Microsoft Associate Showcase School (see more).MIE Expert Email Signature-with-photo


New learning environments in IPE: a classroom experience of math and sciences

This was the theme and the challenge addressed to me. This Friday the 2/19/2016 held the first part of the Pedagogical Days in IPE (Instituto dos Pupilos do Exército) and the AE das Laranjeiras.

The program included the following speakers:

Opening – IPE, School Headmaster Coronel Miranda Soares;
• Performance of the Choral and Instrumental Group of IPE, which featured the work of Professor Irene Alexio;
  • Literacy, education and school librarychallenges and responses, Dr Luis Salema, School Teacher Manuel Teixeira Gomes (Portimão);
  • New learning environments in IPE: a classroom experience of mathematics and natural sciences, Dr José Marques,  math teacher in IPE;

Closing Dr. Hamilcar Santos, Director of the AE Laranjeiras.

My presentation was essentially in what I do with my students and in what I believe to be a response for current challenges to school and teachers.

Let us begin by thinking, what are the existing professions in 10 years? In 10 years, our students are entering the job market, what to expect? Will the school provided and developed the capabilities and responded to their needs? In addition I shared my experience while Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and my last ten years in this initiative. And I talk about my Skype in the Classroom experience, OneNote with students, presentations in Sway, ando so much more.

Continue reading “New learning environments in IPE: a classroom experience of math and sciences”

A 3ª Pequena Ideia com Kodu



Depois de algum tempo sem publicar novas dicas, eis que vai aqui mais uma.

Ao longo de um jogo por vezes queremos colocar as personagens a comunicar umas com as outras. Por vezes os balões de diálogo não têm dimensão suficiente para todo o texto que pretendemos mostrar ou passa depressa de mais.

A pequena ideia que partilho hoje é: como colocar uma mensagem ocupando todo o ecrã? MensagemSelecione Programar na personagem que irá apresentar a mensagem. De seguida proceda de acordo com esta imagem:

2 Nesta linha de programação temos que: Quando a personagem  See (vê) + Closed By (Perto ) + Cycle –> Escolhemos a opção Say (Dizer ) e é aconselhável escolher a opção Once (Uma vez).

Atenção! Quando escrever a sua mensagem no final não se esqueça de selecionar a opção Ecrã Total.

MensagemBoas Aventuras!

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Time to do…

The first trimester is ending and now it’s time to do a reflection about tour work. Usually it what I do. This year I start to work in a new school, a School called IPE (Instituto dos Pupilos do Exército). My students have 9 – 11 years old and I was challanged to do a different work on Math class with them. For me, it was a continuos learning and relearning process but now I can see results getting better.
I had many challenges along this trimester and they were:

  • Starting using ICT in the process;
  • Students collaborating;
  • Students discovering Math relations based on guidelines;
  • Students organizing materials and learning how to create a digital book;
  • Solving problems…

There were a lot of other challenges, but those were the first. See some of the work.

In October was time to start working with computers and learning with a partner. They started to discovering geometry relations on angles and measured them. Started do discovering how Kodu works and give first steps on coding. In the middle they started to solve Math logical problems.

In November they continue to discover relations on triangles. And relations on Numbers… Prime numbers and other things. This time they used Geogebra and Excel to test and compiled information. OneNote was again used to complete Geometry book.

Hour of Code!


December was another exiting moth. Students continues to discover relations on maths and participated on One Hour of Code World event.








#Skypeathon – The world event

Como embaixador da KoduKup Portugal desafio os professores que participam na iniciativa do #Coding com #kodu a participar no #Skypeathon. O objetivo é ser uma sessão informal que permita dar a conhecer aos professores uma ótima ferramenta de comunicação e aos alunos a possibilidade de participar de forma ativa numa conversa pelo #Skype. A sessão será na 5ª feira (3 de dezembeo) das 13h30 às 15h00!
Como deve fazer? Fácil, bskypeasta ter uma conta Skype, registar-se na Microsoft Educator Comunnity (aqui) e procurar-me. Finalmente basta clicar em Request Session on Add on Skype!

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Fico à vossa espera! Necessita de ajuda? Contacte-me!

A 2ª Pequena Ideia com Kodu

Aqui fica uma segunda dica para poder programar ações muito interessantes com o Kodu.

Exemplo 2 – Programação de Pages (páginas) e comando LOS (Line Of Site) ?

A primeira pergunta que deve ter colocado será certamente o que é o Pages e LOS. Certamente reparou que quando programa as ações de uma personagem na parte superior do ecrã aparece uma página com o nº1.

As páginas servem para definir diferentes programações consoante uma determinada situação de jogo, ou seja permite alterar os comportamentos da personagem no jogo quando alteramos algum fator.
Neste jogo, que vos apresento, o Rover tem um comportamento, andar por um caminho (Path) pré-definido, e que se altera quando observa o Cycle. Para o sucesso desta ação entra o comando LOS. Este comando permite que uma elevação do terreno bloqueie o sensor de visão das personagens.
Vejam a programação da página 1 e 2 do Rover:

Nesta 1ª página a primeira linha de comandos diz que o Rover circula pelo caminho de cor branca, rapidamente. Na segunda linha diz que se observar o Cycle na sua linha de visão –> altera a sua programação para a página 2.
Nesta 2ª página de programação na primeira linha temos que, quando observar o Cycle dá uma informação (comando Say), para além disso pára o movimento (comando Freeze). Na terceira linha fazemos novamente a programação de Quando deixar de observar o Cycle na sua linha de visão, altera a programação para a página 1.

Easy, right! Descarregue o jogo com esta programação aqui ?

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A 1ª Pequena Ideia com Kodu

Programar por vezes pode parecer um quebra-cabeças, mas os próximos posts do inov-8.pt aparecerão algumas ideias.
Aqui fica a primeira dica para poder programar ações muito interessantes com o Kodu.

Exemplo 1 – como fazer uma pergunta com respostas fechadas? Uma possibilidade.


  • Criar uma base de jogo com duas cores. Colocar duas personagens, o jogador (Cycle)  e a personagem que irá colocar a pergunta o (Flyfish). Coloque-os um em cada base diferente;
  • Inserir dois objetos (p. ex. estrelas) com cores diferentes;

Programação – Observe as seguintes imagens:

pergunta 1
Programação do Cycle (clique na imagem para ver maior).

No Cycle a programação tem as seguintes regras:

Linha 1 – Programar para controlar a personagem no jogo;
Linha 2Quando o Cycle estiver OnLand (base terrestre) + Type (escolher a cor da base) –>  Faz  Color + White. Isto serve para que a personagem numa determinada base tenha uma cor;
Linha 3 – é uma programação que depende da linha dois e diz que FAZ Play + Sound. Esta função serve para termos uma música de fundo;
Linha 4 e 5 -É uma programação semelhante à anterior mas a ideia é que a personagem mude de cor para laranja e a música fique com uma melodia misteriosa. Isto servirá para que a pergunta apareça SÓ quando a personagem mudar para cor laranja;
Linha 6 – A estrela irá conter a resposta, para que a personagem a selecione teremos de colocar a opção Quando Bump (tocar) +Star (estrela) –>  Faz  Eat (comer)

pergunta 2
Programação do Flyfish (clique na imagem para ver maior).

Agora vamos programar o Flyfish:

Linha 1Quando See (vê) +Cycle (a personagem) + Orange (laranja) –>  Faz Say (na caixa de diálogo escrevemos a pergunta); Esta linha diz que quando o Flyfish observar o Cycle de laranja lança a pergunta;
Linha 2 – Nesta linha pretende-se que quando a estrela desaparecer muda para uma segunda página de programação (a explorar no próximo post). A programação será Quando See + Not (ou seja quando deixar de ver) + Star –> Faz   Switch (muda) + Page 2 (página de programação dois);

Falta apenas um passo! Programar as estrelas com as respostas!

Programar a Estrela (Clique para ver em maior).

Cada estrela deve ter a mesma programação, no entanto a estrela com a resposta correta deverá ter na linha 2 e 3 a seguinte programação:
Linha 2 – está programado para que caso a escolha do jogador tenha sido a outra resposta (outra estrela) esta desapareça, ou seja utilizamos o termo See+Not+Star+Red–> Boom (explode);
Linha 3Quando Bump (tocar) +Cycle (a personagem) –> Faz Score (Pontuação)+ Red (de cor vermelha) + Points (Nº de pontos);


Parece complicado mas não é! Descarregue o jogo com esta programação aqui 😉

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Kodukup 2015 – Primeiros passos

kodukup20153, 2, 1, … GO! Acaba de ser lançada a maior competição sobre programação, a Kodukup 2015! Se é uma das escolas envolvidas no programa IP1CEB desafiamo-lo a si e aos seus alunos a conhecerem o fantástico mundo do Kodu e a participar neste concurso.

Por onde começar?

  • Comece por descarregar o Kodu Game Lab aqui;
  • Adira ao grupo do Facebook KoduPt para colocar as suas dúvidas e questões;
  • Consulte o regulamento do concurso disponível (brevemente);

Em breve mais novidades!


‪#‎kodukup2015‬ ‪#‎MIEE2015‬ ‪#‎Kodu‬ ‪#‎msftedu‬