“A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.” by Denis Waitley

In the fall I was introduced to Breakout Edu randomly at a conference when talking with a small group during a session on critical thinking. So I bought a kit to see what it was all about. Over the last few month I have been using it during professional developments to help other educators see how and why we should use them in schools and classrooms. Everyone that has participated has loved it! So imagine my surprise when I was combing through my blog posts and was shocked that I hadn’t written a post about Breakout Edu yet, so here it is!

Breakout Edu are timed challenge games where you have to solve puzzles to unlock a box with something hidden inside. It is similar to the escape rooms where you pay to get “locked in” a room and try to escape by solving puzzles and unlocking codes. Check out this introducing Breakout Edu video so learn more.

The below infographic (created by Sylvia Duckworth @sylviaduckworth) shows 10 reasons to play breakout edu. I have done breakouts with not only students but also adults, like I mentioned above, during Professional Development. When I recently did one for  Principals, many bought the kits to do for their opening staff meeting for the new school year. Kits are $99.00 and the site offers lots of games (k-12, common core aligned and/or skills based) that are already created and/or you can make your own.

BreakoutEDU.jpg

 

I highly suggest reviewing and testing the games before implementation. I have had my husband do them to make sure it will run smoothly and it gives me time to work out any kinks. Recently Breakout Edu has come out with a companion app called Locks that you can use as well. For additional information, follow @BreakoutEDU along with co-founders James Sanders (@jamestsanders) and Mark Hammons (@mhammons) on Twitter. Also check out other Breakout Edu articles and resources below:

Low-tech ‘Breakout EDU’ looks to invigorate education one wooden box at a time

Breakout EDU – You Had Me At Breakout!

Adam Bellow Becomes CEO of Breakout EDU to Spread Gamified Learning

Codemoji

Puzzle and Clue Maker Symbaloo

Facebook Breakout Edu Public Group

I also frequently get asked the same few questions when doing this during PD’s that I have answered below in case you have the same questions:

  1. What happens if the students don’t finish in the time limit? I have yet to have this happen but if it did you can do a few different things. You can give them more time (especially if it is their first time trying a breakout) as it is a different way of thinking. You can also have them take a break and try later or if you had them in groups have them now work all together.
  2. What happens if not all the students collaborate? Just like any group project, this could happen and you can facilitate that problem as you see fit.
  3. I have a mixed ability class, what happens if the low students can’t do them or the high students take over etc? I have yet to see this happen as well. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and this game allows everyone to take part in a different way. When you first introduce the game you can also make sure you set expectations that everyone needs to work together. I also used to use social skill cards to help remind students. (See previous blog post, Teaching Communication and Collaboration)

Give Breakout Edu a try in your classroom and school, I think you will love it as much as I have.

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