How Breakout EDU is used to unlock one or more of the 4Cs
As an iCoach, I have the pleasure of working with teachers helping them integrate innovate learning experiences into their classroom. Bringing Breakout EDU into our classrooms has been a game-changer for us and has been integrated into our curriculum in social studies, language arts, math, science, Spanish, French, music, and physical education. We’ve also integrated it into staff meetings and professional development. In our world, it’s apparent more than ever that “soft skills” like listening, time-management, empathizing, communicating, teamwork are are crucial for people to have. We’ve seen from playing, that Breakout EDU is an amazing platform to help with these skills, especially when we talk about the 4Cs - creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. These skills can come through in Breakout EDU games while players play the game as well as in actual game creation. With CREATIVITY, you see how teams figure out ways for working together in order to solve the puzzles. You also see creativity come through in game creation. We have students and teachers inspired so much from playing games that they’re driven create games for their students and classes. Then, there’s CRITICAL THINKING which is an essential part of Breakout EDU. Critical-thinking, inference, and problem-solving are utilized by players for solving clues and puzzles as well as game creation. We’ve seen students who are often left out and disengaged be acknowledged as problem-solvers by their peers. What a great example of how students show leadership skills. Things like this boost student’s confidence. Breakout EDU has been a big boom to the COLLABORATION and COMMUNICATION in our classrooms. The “everyone is in charge yet no one is in charge” helps students work as a team and value contributions from all group members when working toward a common goal.
How Breakout EDU has boosted classroom engagement
It’s always fun to see the excitement students show when they see the Breakout EDU box coming their way... “Are we playing a Breakout!??”, “Is that for our class??!”. They look forward to it and are always asking when the next one will be. When we think about learning experiences, how many times have we heard students asking for more? This truly makes Breakout EDU a special thing.
"Breakout EDU has always proven to be one of the most engaging activities in our classrooms. Students are eager, excited, and barely able to be contained." Alex Rummelhart (6th grade ELA teacher)
They are constantly working hard to solve the goal in front of them and in the process using great learning skills like the 4Cs. Everyone loves solving puzzles, and the time-sensitivity to the game not only makes it fun and exciting, but also adds to importance of efficiently communicating and collaborating with one another. Hearing, “I’ve never seen such engagement and focus, ever” from observers of players never gets old.
Being in an environment where a teacher has several class periods, they get creative with how they have their classes play Breakout EDU games. Sometimes classes are mixed up across teams: two teachers who have the same subject and grade level will collaborate and mix their students up so that they can work with students they normally don’t see which brings a different level of engagement, motivation, and excitement.
"One of our favorite aspects of how Breakout EDU works is that it allows for the strengths of different levels of learners to shine through. Students who typically may not participate in a regular classroom setting have surprised us and really shine during Breakout EDU games. Each student has an opportunity to become fully engaged in learning."
How Breakout EDU has transformed your classroom
Student learning is always in the center of our world as educators. Seeing the excitement that Breakout EDU brings to educators who want to bring something different into their classroom to help impact and transform student learning is truly something special. One of our teachers, Dave Komie (8th grade Social Studies teacher), shared that prior to Breakout EDU, their lesson plan about the significance of cracking the German Enigma code in WWII was an average lesson. Now with integrating Breakout EDU’s “Decoding the War”, students are challenged, fully engaged on the topic, and comprehend what Alan Turing and the crew at Bletchley Park did for the world on a deeper level.
Another teacher, Shenach Cameron (7th grade ELA teacher), shared that one of the most impressive ways students have engaged their peers has been in their creation of Breakout EDU games as a Literature Circle extension in their language arts class. The teacher’s favorite example was when a student created a Breakout EDU game for the class directly related to the novel Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life. Then, the student wanted to build their own unique Breakout EDU box and used a woodworking tool and keys from the craft store to decorate it (which the student’s father helped with). What an amazing example of student choice and passion in their learning.
Breakout EDU has brought a new life to learning in so many ways and on so many levels for both students and teachers. Teachers have an incredible excitement and passion to bring a different kind of learning experience to their students. Some may use it as an introduction, midpoint, or review for their curriculum. With students, we see a level of excitement and engagement for learning that brings joy to us all. The skills that students show when they play continue to make us so proud. We learn from them just as much as they learn from us. Our students have now played several Breakout EDU games since first introducing this platform a few years back. We love to see what kind of skill growth they’ve seen in themselves from the first time they’ve ever played. We hear such great things like students noticing they’ve improved on how they communicate, on their teamwork, leadership, listening skills, and how they approach problems in different ways. They’ve also mentioned the importance of patience, grit and perseverance -- skills and characteristics we all strive to improve on. More than “just a game” Breakout EDU has proven to be a game changer for us.
This post was originally shared on the Breakout EDU Facebook Community. I'd like to thank the teachers at my school who helped contribute to it. It's the willingness by teachers like them to try different things in the classroom that truly make a difference in learning.