Friday, May 6, 2016

Breakout EDU in Grade 2!

Haven’t heard of a Breakout?  Do your students, and yourself a favor and check it out…Breakout EDU.   It’s the newest craze in education… and it’s here to stay.  With endless possibilities and continuous problem solving, critical thinking skills and engagement opportunities, you don’t want to be without a kit in your classroom.  

We received two kits (thank you Breakout EDU for giving us a great deal!) and put them to use right away.  We found the Sandbox a great place to explore and search for games, but for our first Breakout we decided to use a self made game.  Students have been applying their bar modeling, addition and subtraction skills through real world problems, so we decided to give them a real world task and crack the case of the Breakout EDU box.  Second graders had a blast!  They were actively engaged, thinking, collaborating and applying their knowledge.  

Some lessons learned (for the teacher)
  • When you open your kit, keep all your instructions!  Take a picture and upload to your Google Drive you can access from school, home, or wherever you might be resetting locks.
  • Keep track of the lock codes, I like to use Google Keep so I can quickly access from any device.
  • Start a Google Folder and track all your game ideas and creations there.
  • Garage sales... clearance racks... dollar stores… be on the lookout for fun and cheap containers/bags/boxes that you can put a lock on
  • Share, share, share- once you have a Breakout established take it on the road.  Offer to do it with a coworkers class, use it with your own kids, birthday parties, or in my case I designed one for my husbands 40th!  We had a Back to the Future 80’s themed blast.  Yes, adults too!  They were “totally” into breaking open the boxes.  

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Dear Pernille Ripp,

Dear Pernille Ripp,

I read your blog post this morning and just wanted to say that I’m sorry.  I’m sorry that you are not feeling like a fun teacher.  I feel you pain, because I’ve been there.

I also want to say thank you. This year, I am a fun teacher and a lot of it is because of you. For the past few years I’ve read your blog posts and books, followed you on Twitter, and am now a member of your Passionate Learners Facebook group.  

You’ve influenced me to do away with a behavior system.  This year I’ve had the fewest behavior issues ever. In the past, my students were required to raise their hand to leave their seats. Now my students are free to meet their needs whenever they need to, not when I give them permission to.

Because of you, I think before I react. I know my students better then ever and use that knowledge to guide my daily interactions.
A student gave this to me on Monday for Teacher Appreciation Week:

A student gave this to me on Monday for Teacher Appreciation Week:

The blogs she refers to are on Write About. I have a free upgraded account this year because of your Global Read Aloud project. By the way, if you haven’t looked into BreakoutEDU yet, please do.  Your students will be singing you praises and will call you a fun teacher.

Your book lists help guide my purchases and help with my suggestions during conferences. My daughter and I look forward to your book recommendations and read our way through your lists.  She found her favorite in The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. She impatiently waited for me to get to “the part” in Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone so we could discuss what we knew and when. We cried over Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt and debated our opinions of the ending.

Pernille, I’m sorry that you don’t feel like a fun teacher this year. But please know that you have created other fun teachers. Your words are far reaching and greatly appreciated.

I’m looking forward to learning with you at nErDcamp in July.

Nicol Howald, Teacher.
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