Teacher Review for Quandary

The Quandary Game -Early Middle School

Susan S.
Technology coordinator
Brown School, Chicago, IL
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Further application
Great with General
How I Use It
I work as a technology teacher in a computer lab with 30 desktop PC. I see kindergarten through 8th grade students in 45 minute periods each week. I used The Quandary game with my 6th grade students as a part of a larger unit on evaluating websites. Students completed pre-thinking activities prior to each module, then engaged in one module per week. Prior to each episode within the Quandary, I engaged students in preliminary thinking activities. Prior to episode one, students completed a quick writing activity in Edmodo by responding to prompt: A quandary is a situation in which you are confused about what to do. Many teens find themselves in a quandary due to peer pressure. Name a time your experienced a quandary. Prior to episode two, students completed another quick write: Today we will continue with the Quandary Game- Episode #2. This episode focuses on the Braxos Community access public water which appears to be polluted. The only other well belongs to a colonist who is charging for access. Is the right to clean water a civil right? Should all Americans have the right to access clean water provided by the government? What would happen if the city did not provide clean water to citizens? Prior to episode two, students completed a final quick write:Do uniforms make school better? For the past decade, schools, parents and students have clashed over the issue of regulating student attire. In 2007, cases involving an anti-Bush T-shirt in Vermont, an anti-gay T-shirt in San Diego and Tigger socks in Napa, California, made their way through the courts, causing many to wonder whether this debate will ever be resolved. Meanwhile, researchers are divided over how much of an impact - if any - dress policies have upon student learning. A 2004 book makes the case that uniforms do not improve school safety or academic discipline. A 2005 study, on the other hand, indicates that in some Ohio high schools uniforms may have improved graduation and attendance rates, although no improvements were observed in academic performance. Why do some public schools have uniforms? In the 1980s, public schools were often compared unfavorably to Catholic schools. Noting the perceived benefit that uniforms conferred upon Catholic schools, some public schools decided to adopt a school uniform policy. President Clinton provided momentum to the school uniform movement when he said in his 1996 State of the Union speech, "If it means teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms." The pros and cons of school uniforms According to proponents, school uniforms: Help prevent gangs from forming on campus Encourage discipline Help students resist peer pressure to buy trendy clothes Help identify intruders in the school Diminish economic and social barriers between students Increase a sense of belonging and school pride Improve attendance Opponents contend that school uniforms: Violate a student's right to freedom of expression Are simply a Band-Aid on the issue of school violence Make students a target for bullies from other schools Are a financial burden for poor families Are an unfair additional expense for parents who pay taxes for a free public education Are difficult to enforce in public schools Make your claim. Provide evidence from the above text to support your claim. Following the completion of all three modules and discussion about character traits of each member of the simulated community, students wrote a Common Sense Media Review of the game.
My Take
My 6th grade students were able to apply reading skills to sort and prioritize information through the Quandary Game's simulated community. Overall, the 6th grade students were highly engaged in the game and were able to sustain the decision making over a 30 minute time span. The students were motivated by the points earned and were eager to compare their accomplishments with their peers. I appreciated that the story segments and character cards could be read aloud to students. I have a wide range of readers, but the read aloud permitted students to focus on decision making without being stunted by decoding text. Some of the students struggled with their own conceptual knowledge of community decision making. Homeroom teachers could leverage the concept of community decision making outside of the game.