Monday, March 30, 2020

April was getting the mail

Photo by Doran Erickson on Unsplash
This is my beginning of the end post in the meddler-in-the-middle series: my reflections on my inquiry actions!

1. What did I do?
The purpose of my inquiry was to test out the meddler concept after absorbing the Erica McWilliams article (read back a few posts for the discoveries I've made thanks to that article).

My version of the MacBeth lesson was to pose a couple of mystery scenarios to a class of Year 9 students (I put them into groups of 3) while I toured the room, stirred the pot, and responded to their questions. This was coupled with a question sheet about how they approached their learning pit experience, and how that experience extended to their other work in a variety of subjects. All that in 40 minutes!

The first scenario: A detective who is just days away from cracking an international smuggling ring, goes missing while inspecting his last known location. You find a note -  
710 57735 34 5508 51 7718. 
Currently there are three suspects - Bill, Todd and John. Can you break the detective's code  and find the criminal's name? 

The second scenario: Shauna was killed one Sunday morning. The police have to arrest someone from this info - 
  • Alyssa was doing laundry
  • April was getting the mail
  • Reggie was cooking
  • Mark was planting in the garden.
Who killed Shauna?

Once the first group deciphered the code in the first scenario (hint: read the code upside down), others got annoyed they hadn't figured it out and kept at it. I aimed not to interfer and left them to make the discovery in their own time, while responding to any questions they had. Some great discussions ensued once the answer was revealed - one boy refused to see the 8 as a B for instance.

2. Was it successful?
Yes, it was. 

After the second scenario (discovered much quicker - hint: no mail on a Sunday), I handed out a question sheet from a Spectrum Education Study Skills booklet about how it feels to be in the learning pit and what strategies are needed to get out of it.

My students turned some remarkably mature responses about how they felt and what they do to adjust. Once we return from the nation's Lock-down I'll add some quotes from them.

My success criteria: I wanted to gauge how I acted as a deliberate meddler (as I've blogged about before - I feel this name legitimises the subversive English teacher that I've always aimed to be), what the student feedback/response would be via the question sheet I distributed.

Next post: the end of the end post looks at #3 (of 3) - What do I think?

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