Yesterday I participated in a Breakout EDU hosted by our absolutely incredible tech team at Godfrey Lee. Have you ever heard of the Great Escape Room? Well, it is just like that but with an academic twist and a sneaky way of incorporating your many, many standards :) Your students (or staff) have to collaborate as a team, problem solve, trouble shoot and use critical thinking to solve their challenge. Those are some real LIFE skills we use each and everyday. I don't know about you guys, but I will jump at any opportunity to have my students exposed to something like this--because my job is not only to have students reach their full potential academically, but to also make sure they one day be able to function on their own in the real world (aka be problems solvers!!!). 

A group of seven of us teachers were put in a classroom and had to find a way to open a box that had 4 different types of locks keeping it shut (in under 45 minutes...I was #stressin). There were clues/resources scattered throughout the room that we had to find, interpret and then use to help us figure out how to open the locks. Our fearless tech team leaders were there to act as facilitators and provide 2 hints at any time throughout the breakout if we felt we needed them. 

The Breakout EDU website does a great job breaking it down, here

Sooo how did it end? We did it! And with five minutes to spare :o) *Fun fact--we completed it about 4 minutes faster than admin* hehe. We took time after to debrief and take our victory picture.

Here were some of our take aways:
  • Time FLEW by. Before we knew it we were given our 10 minute warning and then 5 minutes later we were done! Don't judge me for being cliche when I say..time flies when you're having fun! Working together and being able to celebrate our accomplishment was fun. 
  • Everyone had a different role. In any type of group activity you are going to have leaders, worker bees, thinkers, soft-spoken members, outspoken members, etc. An activity like this allows you as a teacher to see who your students are. To be able to sit back and watch them work can be very telling!
  • This is what the real world is like. Think about your day-to-day life. How often are you problem solving? In my opinion, we are problem solving 24/7 (and a huge chunk of our 24/7 is when we are at our jobs). This activity gives students the opportunity practice and learn how to be problem solvers in real life situation. Lacking direction? Be a leader. Need help? Ask for it. Have an idea? Speak up. Overwhelmed? Take a break.
A very big thank you to Sarah Wood, Kelly McGee, and Daniel Townsend for setting up and facilitating my very first Breakout EDU! Our tech team is THE best :o) Sarah has actually created a lower elem Breakout EDU that I am very excited to try in my classroom! I'll be sure to share that experience with you guys.  Check out Sarah's take on Breakout EDU, here.

Sarah also shared a couple of links with us in case you are feeling inspired and want to try Breakout EDU in your classroom!

Breakout EDU Facebook Community

Breakout EDU Educator Created Games

On a final note--

Please consider donating to Godfrey Lee Public Schools Donors Choose project that will allow us to have more Breakout EDU kits and opportunities for our students! 

Have a wonderful weekend everybody!
Happy teaching!

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