Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Breakout EDU - Can you crack the code and open the box?

There is no doubt that gaming is a hobby sweeping the nation. Places like Tactical Escape 101 in Eau Claire have built a business around locking people in a room loaded with the clues and puzzles to solve to earn the key to escape.

Intriguing to adults and children alike, principals from Tactical Escape 101 can be applied to classrooms as well. Breakout EDU sells ready-made kits and games for teachers to use in the classroom. They also post open-source instructions to create your own kit from a few common items you can get from a local store.  There are ready-made games and templates to create your own.

Students work together to find a variety of hidden clues and puzzles. The puzzles need to be solved in order to find another clue or unlock a lock. Students need to communicate and problem-solve together because the clues are interconnected and often depend on one another.

Collaboration, communication and problem-solving skills are essential for students to continue to be successful in school and beyond school. Using collaborative games, like breakouts, can foster these skills in the classroom.

Teachers have also created their own puzzles or adapted the idea. Students must solve math problems or logic puzzles to earn a key; students must demonstrate practice of a skill recently learned in order to earn the combination to a lock. You could even stretch this out over a unit by using one lock for each concept, skill or standard and having students work together to unlock the box across an entire unit! Think of how curious they will be!

If you want to give this a try, contact Cara or Sarah to get started!

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