Skip to main content

BreakoutEDU, YES!


Plan. Schedule. Print. Prep. Hide clues. Set locks. Test locks. Double-check clues.  Breathe. Engage. Breakout!

I won't sugarcoat this, the process of preparing for my first BreakoutEDU session took me a long time!  (I used a pre-made game, Grammar Guru, it was great by-the-way!) However, every bit of time I spent printing, cutting, re-printing, scanning, and building was WORTH IT!

Cyndi Childers, a 6th grade teacher at East Burke Middle School, was looking for something to get her students engaged, and I knew Breakout was just the trick. We ran two simultaneous games in two rooms, with Cyndi facilitating one room and myself in the other.  We had groups about about 12-15 students in each room.  The group size worked, it could have been smaller, but it really wasn't bad at all.  

This game has a progression of clue finding, one leading to another, so they were all somewhat forced to be working together on 1-2 clues at once, which I liked.  This helped ensure that all/most students got a chance to see/work on each puzzle.  

I know I was facilitating "too much" with my first group.  I got better with the 3rd block of students, I learned from the session right along with the students. The struggle is important for them, being rescued by an adult is what they are accustomed to...no more!  I had moments of disappointment when I felt like the students were giving up to early, even when they were on the right track, and I nearly cried tears of joy for a shy, quirky, introverted boy when he finally found his voice.I'll call him Joey, I can't post his picture, as I don't have permission, but Joey's story is important to share.  

Joey stalked the box like a wild animal on the prowl for most of the game.  He wanted to be near it when someone cracked a lock, he wanted to see it!  I tried to encourage him to help solve some of the clues, but he didn't engage, as some of the "stronger" students had taken the lead. He looked around the room for clues when the students gotten to that point in the game, and generally seemed interested in what the other students were doing. It was the last clue that took the group the most time, it was a multi-step puzzle.  The first step, finding the words in the word search, was fairly simple, but the students were at a loss as to what to do next.  It was Joey, that was the only student that tried to look at this clue differently than everyone else.  Joey tried to put the letters together that weren't circled... he even started read what the combined letters said, but he was met with, "That doesn't mean anything, let me see it..." 

So, Joey backed off, he let the others take the lead, and they struggled to come up with anything.  In my head I was screaming, "JOEY!! Don't let them do that to you! You've got the right idea!!" I'm so glad the screams stayed in my head, because moments later Joey stepped back up and firmly said, "LISTEN. These letters are making words."  And another classmate listened as Joey started reading the next clue, others still denied, but he was encouraged to continue by one classmate, as he read the question with help from some others.  They jotted down the question and began working on the clue immediately, and Joey beamed!  He backed away, pranced around the room and said things like, "I solved that puzzle.  You guys were lost without me!  You should be thanking me!" He was not accusatory, or angry, or sore... he was proud of himself, and no one can take that moment away from him.  I feel lucky to have been in the room to witness such a great moment for Joey.

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing. THESE moments are why Breakout EDU become so important to my professional and personally the first time I experienced it as a game participant. Cheers for Joey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! It's awesome, and no two games are the same! Each problem was solved differently.

      Delete
  2. Love it! Awesome job and thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing! Lots of "Joeys" in our classrooms waiting for us to give them the opportunity to breakout! Blessed to have you as a teammate and an advocate for our students!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Erin, thanks for sharing his experience! There were so many moments throughout all of our sessions that became "ah-ha" moments for those shy, quiett kids! There were also moments when those "leaders" in the classes realized they needed to step back - which was just as powerful to watch!

    Thank you for always being there to rescue me from the teaching ruts that I seem to find....

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Blessings and Insomnia

It's 3:24 am and I have been wide awake for a least an hour. It was the coughing that woke me. Not mine but that of my seven year-old. He was diagnosed with influenza A this morning. His three year-old brother was diagnosed with influenza B and is sleeping fitfully next to my husband. Friday, today, will be day five of me staying home with sick kiddos. Two different strains of flu sick kiddos. Super irritable, not so sick that they can't annoy one another, sick kiddos. Super hungry, and attention craving sick kiddos. And in moments, it seems overwhelming, like too much at once.  I have not yet succumbed completely to the stress and exhaustion, and it's because of unyielding grace, understanding, and compassion from both my family and those surrounding my family. 

Tuesday night, I went with a bunch of girlfriends to dinner and a movie, and that Brandy wouldn't take "no" for an answer. She knew! Self-care is important, and she made sure I took care of myself.

On …

Making Connections to Make Magic Happen

Last week the North Carolina School Library Media Association Conference (NCSLMA) was held in Winston Salem, NC.  Several of my colleagues attended from lots of schools in our area, but I was not one of the lucky attendees. I happened upon the many great things happening there by following the #ncslma18 hashtag on Twitter.

The first tweet I saw was from the one and only, Stacy Lovdahl: 

Made it to the opening! Can't wait to hear @pernilleripp and absorb some #awesomesauce from #ncslma18#ncdlcpic.twitter.com/pvZCFoVPur — Stacy Lovdahl (@braveneutrino) October 4, 2018Stacy is traveling the state serving districts from far and wide as an Educator on Loan with DPI while she also serves her home district, I knew good things would be coming from her all day.  My excitement for the conference was elevated by the incredible authors and speakers they had lined up, one being Pernille Ripp! 

Pernille is the creator of the incredible Global Read Aloud project. Her passion to ignite the love of …