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The Round City of Baghdad

After four months of work by 28 students and myself, we have our first world of the new school year to share. It was a great deal of work and fine tuning to get it to a finished state, but I immensely proud of our accomplishment. We start a new history framework in California this year and it has, as a focus, multiple “sites of encounter” that we are to visit with our students and deconstruct how and why it is historically significant. I chose 8th century Baghdad as our first project and would like to share it with you now.

Round Baghdad was designed for the Caliph, al-Mansur, who founded the city in 763. The circular design was intended to support a series of ringed administrative complexes, but it quickly became filled with common citizens. It stood for approximately two centuries. During this “Golden Age” of Islam, Baghdad was the capital of the Islamic Empire. It was a stop on the Silk Road, contained numerous academic focused institutions known as houses of wisdom and was tolerant of all religions and knowledge seekers. It was, by all accounts, a cultural center. 

Within its walls visitors would find religious scholars, astronomers, poets, architects and mathematicians, merchants, musicians, philosophers and historians. It became known as the City of Peace. Situated next to the Tigris River, water was abundant and farmland surrounding the city swelled with new residents.  

Students worked individually and in teams to recreate individual buildings and other structure which we then merged onto the final map. Details were added for more authenticity. We built it to a 1:2 scale based on primary source documents. Nothing exists of this historic Baghdad today, but we feel that we have faithfully reproduced it in Minecraft.

[Download coming soon!]


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Welcome to my website. I am a teacher at Chalone Peaks Middle School in King City, California. I am currently teaching 7th grade history, but I have experience teaching every subject in grades 6-8. I have been a teacher for the past 20 years and enjoy incorporating technology throughout my curriculum. My students use numerous web tools throughout the school year. We are a Google Apps for Education school and all my students have an account and a netbook that they use in class each day.

I hold credentials in both multiple subjects and single subjects (history and science) and I am GATE certified, SIOP and AVID trained, and a Google Certified Teacher, CUE Lead Learner, and professional developer. I have completed undergraduate and graduate work in both anthropology and astronomy and was awarded a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from San Diego State University. I enjoy teaching how to use technology in the classroom. I also like to design, develop, and implement Common Core curriculum that promotes collaborative and interactive online learning.

You can contact me via social media such as Google+ and Twitter, or by visiting my class blog or Minecraft blog and leaving a comment.

RSS Most recent post from my MinecraftEdu blog

  • California League of Schools Conference 2015Here are my resources from the #CLStech15 conference in Monterey on January 17th.
  • Medieval Japanese Poetry and MinecraftI’ve had a strong desire to use Minecraft for learning about medieval Japan for quite some time. I’ve always thought that the environments generated in Minecraft worlds often have a very Japanese familiarity to them. Last December I finally acted on my long held desire and created a unit to teach medieval Japanese history concepts while […]

RSS Most recent post from my class blog

  • Martin Luther King Jr.This is a guest post by Allison. She is one of my students and wrote this in honor of Dr. King. This weekend is a very special weekend, not only because we don’t have school Monday but also because its Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday! Martin Luther King Jr. was a very important man in […]

Where to find me – 2015

* January 16-17 California League of Schools Conference, Monterey, CA.
* January 20 CUE Innovative Educator guest speaker
* February 9 SLOCUE Board Meeting
* February 25 TICAL and SLOCOE Conference, San Luis Obispo, CA.
* March 7-8 Edtech Team Central Coast Google Summit, Templeton. CA.
* March 19 Annual CUE Conference, Minecraft Academy 101, Palm Springs, CA.
* March 19 Annual CUE Conference, Alliance for Distance Education in California, Palm Springs, CA.

* March 20 Annual CUE Conference, Minecraft Projects for Every Classroom, Palm Springs, CA.
* March 21 Annual CUE Conference, Minecraft Academy 201, Palm Springs, CA.
* March 21 Annual CUE Conference, Minecraft Crafting Learning Poster Session, Palm Springs, CA.
* April 3 Union School District, edTech PD Event, TBD

Elsewhere . . .


Workshop Resources . . .

Classroom Photography

Blogging Bootcamp

Student Blogging


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