On Thursday we had our first Mystery Skype of the year with a class we will work with on the Global Read Aloud. On Tuesday I assigned the students their roles and we went over all the responsibilities, the set up, rules and goals for the Mystery Skype. The kiddos were so excited, I forgot how much students love this activity.
Eager and excited students entered the classroom of 5A on Thursday morning and had a hard time focusing during our Morning Meeting and Readers Workshop time. Pretty soon it was time to set up and we were all ready. As soon as the call came in something that had never happened in the 15 Mystery Skypes I have done happened.
One of my students used his critical thinking and search skills. He saw the teacher's name on the Skype call and quickly Googled her name. Within a matter of seconds he had her school and class website pulled up. I was facing a dilemma, what he did was awesome and was the fastest way to find the answer, however it wasn't within the parameters of the game we had discussed.
I pulled him aside and explained just that, within this "game" it wasn't fair, but it was good search skills. He then worked with the old school atlas and globe to help his group, the think tank, for the remaining time. I probably made the wrong decision, but I didn't want him to ruin the game for a classmate or the other class. It's four days after and I still feel bad about banishing him to the atlas and globe for doing something that no one else thought of.
We did have a class discussion after to reflect and we talked about how what he did was very clever, but didn't fit with our purpose and goal of the game--to use our critical thinking, collaborate, and solve the problem using the other class' clues.
What would you have done?
Mrs. K has been teaching for eight years. She has taught in three different countries and loves each one for its uniqueness.