As a teacher in a low-income/high poverty school district, my students are faced with several challenges both in and out of the classroom. One of the challenges they are currently facing is the consolidation of two schools into a new district. We are starting our third year of being a new district and we all, teachers included, are still adjusting. Despite the many challenges they face, I am looking to provide my students with creative and meaningful learning experiences.
I work in a large school that is not only physically starting over but is also rebuilding the atmosphere and culture for our scholars every day.
Part of building that culture includes being able to provide resources for our scholars. Some of my students don't have a lot that they look forward to, but they look forward to school. For some, it is an escape--a way to forget about personal problems and escape to a different world for a while. Many students find their voice in the classroom and oral communication, the class that I teach, becomes an outlet to express themselves. Whatever school means to our scholars, I want to give them the best experience possible.
Educational breakout kits allow scholars to completely immerse themselves in learning when they think they are just playing a game. First, they are put into groups in which they will work in for a set amount of time. Then they are given a bag that they must "break" into before time runs out. To get into the bag, they are given articles, clues, puzzles, etc. to solve together that contain the codes and keys to unlock the locks on the bag.
My scholars, even the ones who usually don't want to participate in other lessons, love diving in when we do breakouts and are 100% engaged while having fun!
Sure, it feels like a game or a puzzle; but like many puzzles and games, it provides an engaging experience that all students involved can benefit and learn from. The scholars must work together to use their creativity, critical thinking skills, time management skills, and communication skills. This hits all of the "Four C's" of learning--Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity. I'm also able to add a 5th "C" into the mix--content. One of the best parts about this activity is that I can make it based on any content, such as Oral Communications, History, English, Math, or Science. They will always be fostering their communication skills no matter the content.
My scholars have thoroughly enjoyed the digital breakouts in my classroom, but I would like to expand this experience to get them up and moving. Please help me get the bags, locks, uv lights, and boxes to do just that!
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