Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Breaking Out of the Classroom

Are you looking for a fun and rigorous way to end the school year? A colleague recently introduced me to an amazing site called BreakoutEDU. This site has tons of breakout room games ready to go for your classroom.  The breakout games work like the fun breakout rooms that seem to be popping up everywhere. Your students are introduced to a problem that they need to work with the class or small groups to solve in a certain amount of time. These games are great because they make students think outside of the box. The students have to collaborate, use higher level thinking skills, and work as a team.

The best part about this site is that these games are 100% free and teacher friendly. Each game includes a teacher guide and instructional video to help you set up your classroom. All you need to do to access these games is create an account, find a game that works for your class, print the resources, and you are good to go! The only thing you need to purchase to complete these activities is the Breakout Kit. These kits are amazing, but can be pricey. They would make an awesome Donors Choose grant. However, if you are like me and on a tight classroom budget, you can purchase the materials much cheaper on your own.  I ordered my supplies from Amazon because I absolutely love Prime. Here’s a list of the materials you will need to purchase (I’ve included links to items I purchased using Prime):

- 1 Hasp
-1 UV Light (optional)
-1 Invisible Ink Pen (optional)
-1 Small Lockable Box

I wanted to end the school year with a fun activity that would give my students a chance to use their higher level thinking skills, and practice the team work skills they spent the whole year building. When I found the Oh, The Place You'll Go Activity, I knew that I found the perfect breakout session! I always read the Dr. Seuss story to my students at the end of the school year and this activity ties into it perfectly. This game was made with the intent to use it at the beginning of the school year, but you can easily use it for the end of the school year too. When we started the game, I told my students that they had to breakout of third grade in order to go on to fourth.

The game designer, Patti Harju, has done an amazing job making this game teacher friendly. All I needed to do was print out the activity sheets, read the teacher guide, and watch the video on how to setup my classroom. Below are some pictures of how I setup my classroom.

This game gave my students a 45 minute time period to solve the problem. My students were so engaged throughout the entire 45 minutes. They absolutely loved this activity, and I loved watching them think outside of the box! I will definitely be using more of these games in the future!