Welcome to Mr. Miller’s Classroom Blog

Hello new visitors! We are taking part in the class blogging challenge run by the awesome folks at Edublogs and our first challenge is to introduce ourselves.

Our school is a middle school located along the Central Coast of California, in Monterey County. We live in a rural area and our town is pretty small, about 10,000 people. There are lots of agricultural fields surrounding the city where food is grown year round. Some popular food grown around here are onions, lettuce, garlic, broccoli and cauliflower.

KarottenZwiebeln 266

Do you have farms around where you live? What kinds of food to you grow?

We are also located near the United States newest National Parks, called Pinnacles. It is an extinct volcano that has many hiking trails throughout. It is also great for one of Mr. Miller’s favorite activities – rock climbing!

Pinnacles National Monument (5839423135)

Are there any fun places to hike, swim, or enjoy the outdoors around where you live?

We have about 750 students on our campus. It is a pretty new school, only about seven years old. The students in Mr. Miller’s class have netbooks that are used everyday. We also have Google accounts that we use for email and to create and share documents. We also use Minecraft for learning in history class. It is still very new to many students, but they are catching on FAST!

Cube terre minecraft

Do you have Google at your school? Do you play Minecraft at home, or at school?

We update our blog once or twice a week. Each student will have their own blog where they will be writing about what they learn, but also what they want to share with their visitors. A few students have their blog ready now, but many more will be coming online over the next month. You can visit them by clicking on the Student Blog link in the sidebar.


  1. Nicola Wells

    Hi Mr Miller,

    I’m a secondary school science teacher in New Zealand, and I was looking for fun educational blogs for inspiration and have found yours :) I love how you’re using technology to make learning fun for your students. I’m also from a 1:1 digital classroom, and I’m trying to do the same. Looking forward to your next post!

    Kind regards,
    Nicola Wells

    • John Miller

      Fabulous! Thank you so much for connecting. It’s been a long, but fruitful year this year and we are now winding down. Please keep in touch and perhaps we can connect our students on a collaborative project. Do you use Google Apps?

  2. mrsrovira

    Hi there from Southern California! I teach seventh grade at a junior high in Orange County, CA. I have just started using blogs with my students this year, and I am trying to find ways to encourage them to write more (and read more). We have iPads in our classes and our own Google Drive accounts, in addition to the Edublogs account. We’d love for you to read some of our blogs and post. (We’ll read some of yours too!) My site is
    http://mrsrovira.edublogs.org and my student blogs link to that site.

    • John Miller

      Hi Mrs. Rovira!

      Thank you so much for connecting with us. We love making new friends. Blogging is wonderful, it has changed the way I teach and the way my students write – all for the better! Google Apps are fantastic, I don’t know what I would do without them. We blog every Friday and love to visit other student blogs so I will add you to our rotation as well as put a link to your blog on our blogroll.

  3. Donovan

    Hi Mr. Miller,
    I love the idea of playing minecraft for a class. You could build something for Ancient Greece or Modern times. What do you build in minecraft? And I do live near farms if you count cows roaming in the middle of a plain. We do have some places to swim like at a beach. Also there are a bike trail and I go biking a lot.

    • John Miller

      Hi Donovan!
      Thank you so much for the comment. Yes, Minecraft rocks! My next build is going to be Medieval Japan – the Samurai era. I want to make multiple Japanese villages and place samurai throughout using Custom NPCs. Do you know about that mod?

  4. Kolby

    Hi Mr. Miller. My name is Kolby and I’m in 7th grade. My teacher is Mrs Braidwood. I play Minecraft at home all the time on my iPod and on the computer. We’re not allowed to play Minecraft at school because we’re not allowed to play on our iPod’s at school. We can play on computers here, but just math games. How do you teach history through Minecraft?

  5. Ria

    Hello Mr. Miller,

    I am in Mrs Braidwoods class. I don’t think I live near a farm in the Comox Valley and I’m not quite sure what foods grow here, but I have seen lots of blackberries. My family and I are people who love to explore and go to places. I have seen and have been to fun places to hike, swim and enjoy the outdoors around where I live. I do have a Google account at my school, but we don’t play Minecraft at my school. I would like to play it at home but it never works when I try to download it.

    Do the people at your school enjoy Minecraft? How did the volcanoes get instinct in Pinnacles?
    Do you enjoy reading other people comments on the blog?

  6. Ethan

    Hi Mr. Miller. I’m in Mrs. Braidwood’s class and I think it’s cool that you guys use Minecraft to learn history. I play Minecraft all the time at my house it’s fun. I think it’s cool because you can make anything you want in creative mode and you can survive and mine diamonds. It would more fun learning at school with Minecraft. I wish I could do that too.

  7. Dawson

    Hello Mr. Miller. I’m in grade six and I’m in Mrs. Braidwood’s class. I play Minecraft at home and I’m building a city. It’s half way done. My favourite Minecraft animal is a cow because they stay on a grass roof with no fence. I hate the creepers and endermen the most. Does everyone like learning history using Minecraft.

  8. jaiden

    Hi Mr. Miller I’m in Mrs Braidwood’s class in grade 6. We have farms here with lots of cows and corn. Yes there is a fun place to swim here it is a river called the Puntledge. At my school we do have google and no we don’t play minecraft at school but I might be getting it soon

  9. Jordan

    Hi Mr. Miller and class,

    I’m a grade seven student in Mrs. Braidwood’s class. Your school and area around it sound like an amazing and fun place to be. I’ve never been rock climbing but it sounds like lots of fun and I’d love to try it one day. There’s a place to go hiking here on Mt. Washington which is about a 30-40 minute drive from town. It’s called Paradise Meadows and you can hike on the trails passed three beautiful lakes. At Lake Helen-Mackenzie, it’s a great place to go swimming but the water is freezing because a lot of it is melted snow off the mountain. I love to go hiking because I love just being in nature and seeing all the beautiful sights. It’s such a beautiful place here in the Comox Valley. Going hiking is amazing! I like your blog and I can’t wait for more posts. How long have you been using Minecraft to teach history?

    • John Miller

      Hi Jordan!
      I love hiking too and I’m going to be vacationing in Vancouver next summer. I think I may need to make a trip to Comox Valley. I’ve heard a lot about it from you and other students.t sounds awesome. I started using Minecraft last year, but have really big plans for it this year. We start in a couple of weeks with a unit on Africa. Thanks for the comment and I will keep in touch. :-)

  10. Claire

    Hi Mr. Miller. I live in the Comox Valley, BC, I am in gr.6 and I am in Mrs. Braidwood’s class. I am not quite sure what foods are commercially grown here but I do know that there are A LOT of wild blackberries. There are so many that they are like weeds! They are also delicious.

    I think that there are lots of beautiful places to swim and hike here in BC. One of my favourite places to hike and swim is called Seal Bay. There is a nice 20 minute hike you can do there and then you get to the beach. It is great to go there during low tide because then you can see all sorts of sea creatures like starfish and crabs. Sometimes you can catch really big crabs (well if you are brave enough to pick one up!) During high tide you can go for a nice swim too.

    Our class has google accounts that we use for documents too. We also get to use SlideRocket from our accounts. I do not go on minecraft at school or at home because I’ve never been very interested in it. Maybe one time I could try to learn how to use it.

    How you use minecraft for history in your class? Do you like minecraft?

  11. Keira

    Hello Mr. Miller,

    I’m a grade 7 student in Mrs. Braidwood’s class. You have a lot of people in your school. We have 400. There are many nice places to swim or hike here. There are rivers and oceans that you can swim in. I sometimes swim in them but only during the summer. We have Google, but I don’t play minecraft. I know a couple people who do play minecraft though. They say it’s fun playing it, but I have never tried. What do you like the most about minecraft? I like rock climbing too but I have only gone a couple times. There are a lot of farms around here but I don’t know exactly what they plant or what type of animals they have there.

  12. Danika

    Hello Mr. Miller,

    I’m in Grade 6 and my teacher is Mrs. Braidwood. I use to live by a cattle farm, but the farmer only sold meat. He use to have cows that gave milk too, but he didn’t sell it. There are a few farms near by now and I think they grow vegetables. I like rock climbing too, but I’m really scared of heights and spiders. I do have Internet at home and I play minecraft too! I like it a lot. I don’t mean to brag but…I’m a super skilled builder. What is the best thing you have built on minecraft? I don’t hike, but I’m willing to try it sometime. There are a lot of places here to hang out with your friends or family, We have rivers and lakes that you can swim in, in the summer. We have oceans too, but they’re really cold.

  13. Emma

    Hi Mr. Miller,

    I’m a Grade Seven student in Mrs. Braidwood’s class. I just have to say WOW that’s a lot of students at your school! I don’t have any farms by my mom’s house, but by my dad’s house there’s a blueberry farm. There are quite a few blueberry farms here. I think it’s cool that you’re located by a new national park with an extinct volcano. I also like rock climbing, but sometimes if I’m really high up it creeps me out. Spiders creep me out too. Where I live, we have a nature park called Seal Bay Park where you can go on walks. To go swimming we have a lot of options. We have rivers, lakes and the ocean that you can swim in when it’s warmer. I do like the outdoors. I play volleyball and I usually play it outside. At our school we have Google and no I don’t play Minecraft, but I know some people who do. How do you use Minecraft for learning history?

  14. Charli

    Hello, Mr. Miller!

    I am in grade six. My teacher this year is Mrs. Braidwood. I really enjoyed reading this post. I can’t believe some teachers let students learn by playing MineCraft. That is really cool. The Pinnacles look like an amazing place to venture off and explore. You must work in a huge school, I cannot believe there is around 750 students there! Here where I live there is mostly small farms, and they usually grow corn, potatoes, peppers, cucumbers, blueberries, garlic, and more. They often sell all of their produce at small markets. I live in the Comox Valley in BC. I love swimming in the ocean, going fishing, and doing water sports. I love running through forests, you never know what you might find there! We don’t learn by playing MineCraft though, I wish we did. How do you learn from playing MineCraft? Do you have a lot of National Parks in your area?

  15. Miss Tamasi

    Hi Mr Miller and Class,

    I am a Grade 6 teacher from Canada and came across your classroom blog. My class also has a blog on our classroom website: http://seehowwegrow.weebly.com

    We use google as well, but we do not play Minecraft at school. However, we do use Mathletics. Have you heard of it? If not, you should definitely check it out. One of my students, Carmine, wrote about it on our blog today. And if you check out the hall of fame on the Mathletics start page, you’ll notice that our class is currently #1 in Canada. We really love Mathletics.

    Anyway, if you get a chance, please visit our blog and leave a comment.

    Miss Tamasi

    • John Miller

      Hi Miss Tamasi!

      Wow, I am impressed! I used to teach 6th grade and we enjoyed using tech and websites to learn math too. So much more fun then worksheets. I will forward your message to a math teacher friend of mine and tell her about Mathletics. I’ll also be visiting your blog soon!

      Mr. Miller

  16. Faith


    My name is Faith, and I’m in Ms. Smith’s class. We’re in the Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, Canada. We don’t have a lot of rock climbing here (real or otherwise), but the one here in Cumberland is OK.
    Great to see you have lots of crops! Is the one pictured your school garden?
    I love minecraft, I play it almost every day. So many things you can do!

    • John Miller

      Hi Faith,

      Thanks for the nice comment! The photo is not of our school garden, but it is very similar to the crops growing around our school. I’m going to be vacationing next summer in Vancouver and hope to do some outdoor adventuring. What do you recommend?

      I play Minecraft a lot too. I’m trying to use it in history class. Do you use any mods? I like Custom NPCs.

  17. Ethan

    Hello Mr. Miller,

    I don’t have any gardens around where I live, but my grandma has a farm (with-out the animals). I love to play minecraft at home because we don’t use it in my school. I was wondering what is your favorite thing about minecraft and what is your students favorite thing about minecraft? My favorite part about minecraft is to play with friends and build things.


    • John Miller

      Hi Ethan!

      Gosh, just picking one thing about Minecraft is tough! I like playing in creative mode and building things with other people, but survival is awesome too. The best thing about Minecraft to me is the ability to add mods to the game. I really like that they let you change the game so that you can always keep it fun.

  18. lauren

    There’s this place called Nokomis groves where they sell ice cream and there’s an citrus grove across the street so you can see all kinds of citrus. If you ever visit Florida you must go there it’s beautiful. What’s your favorite fruit?

    • John Miller

      We have lots of citrus in California, but it is a bit too cold in winter near my home to grow it. My favorite fruit has to be strawberries! They grow really well in the southern part of our county and I love to pile them up on a bowl of homemade ice cream :-)

  19. lauren

    The blog is so cool I am just learning to blog and I can’t wait to read more and the mine craft home made gift was really cool. I hope to read more blogs and I can’t wait for a new post. What’s your favorite post on any blog?

    • John Miller

      Great question Lauren! Thanks for the nice comment too. I think my favorite blog post has been the one by Mrs. Yollis where she and her students teach everyone how to make a good comment. I especially like that she included an awesome video.

  20. Mercedes

    Hey Mr. Miller and Class,
    I have been checking out some blogs and I have to say I really like your blog! I like all the pictures you put on.
    I live in Florida and around where I live we grow citrus fruits. They are called groves and it’s just trees upon trees of oranges, lemons or grape fruits. Not far from where I live there is this place where you can get fruit and ice cream. The also sell cute things that resemble Florida.
    Keep blogging and come visit mine!


  21. Anthony

    Hi Mr.Miller,
    I live in Florida and In Florida we usually grow strawberries, oranges and cotton. No, we don’t have google at our school. In Florida we really don’t go rock climbing, but we do rock climbing on a wall. We really don’t have mountains in Florida. How do you use a Netbook? Is there a sport in California for rock climbing?

  22. year7pe

    Hey there,

    You’re school and local area sound fantastic. We really love the look of the National Park.
    We have an area called ‘The Blue Mountains’ at the edge of Sydney which is a National Park area, although it looks quite different to yours.
    As for food, we have just completed a lesson on Healthy Cooking where we had to prepare and cook a healthy meal for our family for under $20. We’ll send you a link to the blog post when it’s done :)

    We look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

    Year7pe, Sydney, Australia

  23. Sadie

    Hi Mr. Kreb and class!
    I am Sadie, a middle schooler in Florida. I really enjoyed reading about your middle school! It seems pretty different from mine. My middle school is VERY small, only about 60 kids (20 kids per grade). I really love the scenery pictures you posted. They are absolutely beautiful. I think you have seen our middle school blog and spoken with my teacher, Mrs. Donofrio before? If you have, then you must’ve gotten to see some of the things that go on around here. I really love your blog, and look forward to reading the rest of your posts!
    Thanks, Sadie.

  24. audreyhk

    Hi Mr. Miller’s class and Mr. Miller,
    Wow! You actually use Minecraft in school. I have heard of it but never used my Minecraft in school. I guess I never thought of it this way. I do in fact play Minecraft, a very interesting and fun game. I don’t use Google in school but it sounds cool! I do also have 2 houses, one which is located in New Jersey, which does have a lot of agriculture and farming, living up to its name- The Garden State. There they have the most delicious tomatoes and corn. Corn on the cob mmmm! But here in Florida we have cotton farms. Not so delicious to eat. Also I love to go rock climbing with my brother. They have the perfect rocky mountains in New Jersey. I guess rock climbing is one of my favorites too!
    How do use Minecraft in school? Do the students like it? How do you use Net Books? Is the volcano dangerous even though it is extinct?
    – Audrey

  25. Miss W.

    G’day Mr Miller and students,
    I have my own little vegetable garden at my house now that I have retired. I only need to grow enough though for one person, so I often have to give some of it away to family and neighbours.

    We also have a landmark called the Pinnacles in Western Australia. These are in a desert and not tall enough to go rock climbing. Here is a link http://www.visitpinnaclescountry.com.au/pages/the-pinnacles/

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