Get students communicating, collaborating, using critical thinking skills, and being creative to review and reinforce classroom standards through escape room challenges in the classroom.

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Search, Solve, Escape - Breakout

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Bay Point Middle School 
Sarah Swoch 
Students Impacted:
October 7, 2017


Thank you to the following investor for funding this grant.


Anonymous - $250.00

Impact to My Classroom

# of Students Impacted: 135

I tried this out for the first time with 22 gifted 7th graders. We completed a Minecraft challenge which focused on team work. The students loved it, they requested another, and got involved in problem solving right away. At the end they broke out, we took a celebratory picture, and then took some time to reflect on the teamwork, roles, and critical thinking involved. 


 I tried this with 11 8th grade gifted students with a breakout set up that revolved around teamwork. I used a challenge for high schoolers, since the students have a lot of experience with codes and puzzles. I was worried about them, but they managed to do it with a few seconds to spare. Since the first try we have done a few more. The students have developed better skills for managing the problems they find and working together.

 I tried an environmental, and a more content focused, breakout with my STEM Academy (20 students) which has students from 6th to 8th grade. We started with two readings, one for each group of students, and I told them they would need the information for the puzzle we were going to do. Once they read about energy and electric cars they started the breakout challenge. Part of the challenge required them to work together to get 100% on a quiz about the articles. They also had to look up Chernobyl and use google maps to find out where a contaminant had moved. Eventually they were able to breakout and discover Dr. Bore's files that would save the world from pollution. I liked the curriculum link and that the students had to discuss the articles with each other during the activity. They loved it and I got some pretty solid learning to happen the week before winter break. 


I decided to try this as an intro to the solar system with my 50 8th grade advanced students. I learned quickly that they have very little experience with puzzles. The had some serious struggles making logical jumps. It makes me think that this will be a highly beneficial activity for them to work on. They did not communicate as well, so one student would be trying to open a lock, and students at another table would have the clue to that lock. I look forward to doing more with this to improve their communication and team work skills. As far as the students gaining information I think this is best as an Engage at the start of the unit. It gets them ordering the planets and looking at what each planet looks like. It also delves a little into the characteristic properties of each planet, which we can dive further into later. I was able to assess some prior knowledge and found out the students had no idea what the asteroid belt was. It is also really neat to see students who don't share as often provide the group with critical information. I could see the self confidence build as the challenge continued. They still have 6 min. on the clock, so I will let them finish the breakout tomorrow, hopefully they will make it. If not I think it will be a great lesson in trying again. While this group had the least success the first try I think they are probably the group best served by the activity. They have clearly had very little experience with these types of challenges and therefore stand to benefit the most from practicing critical thinking skills and reflecting on how each challenge is conquered. 

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Original Grant Overview


Get students communicating, collaborating, using critical thinking skills, and being creative to review and reinforce classroom standards through escape room challenges in the classroom.  


What will be done with my students

With two lock boxes the class can be divided into two teams and given a challenge to solve while racing against the clock. The lock box set up can be used with different breakout games set up to introduce, reinforce, review and even test classroom content. Students will also learn to collaborate, communicate, and use critical thinking skills in the process of solving the clues with UV pens and UV lights, puzzles, questions and more. Eventually students will succeed in opening each of many different locks on the box to open it and find the final clue to escape the room.  


Benefits to my students

Gamification of the classroom gets students involved with the material in an exciting and motivating task. The lock box gives students a chance to fail forward and learn to try again when the first try fails. It not only teaches content, but develops 21st Century skills students will need.  


Describe the Students

100% of my students receive free lunch. I have 10 ESE students, 11 students with 504 plans, 2 ELLs, 37 Gifted students, and 35 students with early warning indicators.  


Budget Narrative

This is for two Breakout Edu lock box kits. Two kits ensures all students have a chance to be engaged during the activity. Each kit includes:
1 Large Breakout EDU Kit
1 Hasp
1 Alphabet Multilock
1 Directional Multilock
1 three-digit lock
1 four-digit lock
1 key lock
1 UV light
1 Deck of Reflection Cards
1 invisible ink pen
1 small lockable box
1 USB thumb drive
2 Hint cards 



# Item Cost
1 BreakoutEDU Kit $250.00
  Total: $250.00


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