Thursday, May 2, 2013

Will the Real Learning Please Stand Up?

Spreading love....turning grouchy people into friendly people....doing the work of Martin Luther King. This is our intention but the process is often messy and might not always look so philanthropic. 

During our discussion regarding signs, the children felt  we would need to observe the people reading our signs to see how they are  affected by the signs. 

How could we look at these people looking at our signs without being observed by them? 

We could hide in a fake bush! 

So this is where as a teacher you think to yourself that the "bush-making" is just a prop and the  students will make the fake bush and place it on the Middle School campus. The real learning will be the observations that the students make as they sit behind the bush. Yet deep thinking was provoked by the "fake-bush making". 

The children did not think that the fake bush looked "real-enough".  How will we hide and then later leave the hiding place without giving away our plan to the middle schoolers?

The problem raised by the children was  logistical which is why my first instinct was too just shut it down....we do not have the time!  In my head I am thinking: The bush is done and it looks fine. Lets get to the heart of the work.

However it became evident that we could not ignore the dissonance and dissatisfaction created by the  fake bush and the eminent plan to use it as  a decoy.  We had to embrace and give time to the children's theories and feelings. 

Ell: We could wake  up really early and get here before the eighth grade is here. We could go home after the eighth grade leaves.

M:  There needs to  be a stem so it looks real. A bush is not square so we could cut part of it out so it looks less fake.

E: We could just pretend that we are hanging around and they won’t think that we are spying on them.

C: I think people are going to think that it is a fake bush because the leaves will look fake.

T: If we tell the middle school that we are doing this then they will know that we are putting up signs and watching for their feelings.

L: We were not going to tell them.

M: How will we see out of the bush? How will we see the eighth graders without them telling it is the fake bush?

 I: How will we make sure they see what we made? How will we see their faces when they are looking.When we go into the bush how are we going to get the middle school to see what we made?

J: We could put up arrows that point to the signs.

R: We can put holes in the bush to watch them as they walk around the bush.

Ell:  We could just distract them.  "Oh,  there is an animal in the bush.".  Then they would think it was a real bush.

T: What if they see us going into a bush?

N:If we lowered a cow upside down  then they would be sure to notice signs if we put them in front of the cow.

A: We could put the Kindergartners inside the bush and then someone could carry the bush into the middle school. Like Irene and Pippin. (Reminded Irene when she was informed later of the idea of the Trojan Horse!!!)

C: What if they see the bush and cut the bush in half and see us?

I: The box is too thick for that to happen to it. I don't think we should worry about that.

J: We could get a camera and hang it on something and just tape what happens with the signs.We can see there expressions without them seeing us.

L: We could go in the garden and see if the middle schoolers are all in the cottages and put the signs up and then get in the bushes.

N: We could trick the eight graders by watering the bush and then they would think it wasn’t a real bush.

We even tried to just ditch the hole idea of the bush. We visited the middle school campus to look around for a natural hiding place.

This was not a good place to hide. We can see Roman's elbow and he can't see the people he is suppose to be observing.
Annie said that she could see the people hiding so this is not a good idea either.

This bush seemed just right and yet there were some that wanted to use the bush.

J: We need different size holes so we can look out. Holes at eye level, some people might be standing and some people might be down on the ground.

A:  We  should write our names on the eye holes because people are different heights.

R: We need to remember not to talk to each other because bushes don’t talk.

J: They will know then that it is a fake bush if you are talking.

A:  We may have to actually act out our spying mission to see if it works, so I think we should have a practice. People not in the group should be middle schooler’s so the bush group can practice what works.

1 comment:

  1. Just the title of this post, alone, is brilliant. Then one starts reading....