#BreakoutEdu in Third Grade

March 31, 2017 No Comments

#BreakoutEdu in Third Grade

March 31, 2017 No Comments

Today was the last day of school before Spring Break.  It was insane, to say the least.  In addition, it was also our school wide “Morning Meeting” and JCPS’ Day of Innovation and Play.  The purpose of the Day of Innovation and Play was to invite teachers from around the district to try something new  and innovative in their classroom.  We were supposed to tweet out our innovation by using the hashtag #JCPSDeeperLearning.  There was SO MANY cool things going on around the district, it was hard to keep up.  I was so excited to have the opportunity to break out something new, especially on a day which is usually chaos!  (I mean, let’s add fuel to the fire, shall we not?)

I heard about Breakout Edu (www.breakoutedu.com) about a year ago.  A couple of teacher friends that I knew had tried it in their classrooms.  It wasn’t until I attended ECET2KY back in November that I was able to actually try it out myself.  You can read about my experience at ECET2KY here.  Ever since then, I’ve been curious to try it out in my own classroom.  The BreakoutEdu kits cost $125, but it includes the box, a multitude of different locks, and other materials useful to make your Breakout experience worthwhile.  It is definitely worth the money, if you have it.  The site also has a list of premade games for all levels and group sizes.  The games available on the site are all free using the password “showyourwork.” Who doesn’t love free?

I, however, didn’t have the money nor the time to wait for the box to ship.  But I was determined to make my dream of a BreakoutEdu happen on JCPS Innovation and Play Day!  So, using some Amazon gift cards (thanks, Go365), I purchased some locks and invisible pens.  I had a set of luggage at home that I could use as my makeshift boxes, so that was all I really needed.  Below is a list of the locks I purchased from Amazon.com and their prices: (Disclosure: These are affiliate links.)

  • Directional Lock (I bought 2):  
  • click here

  • 3 Digit Combination Lock (I bought 2): click here
  • 4 Digit Combination Lock (comes in a set of 2, so I only bought 1):  click here
  • Alphanumeric Lock (I meant to buy 2, but only purchased 1, but I made it work): click here
I also purchased this set of invisible pens.  In all, my purchase came out to right under $60 before I used my gift cards.
The game I pulled off of the BreakoutEdu website was a Dr. Seuss “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” themed reading game for elementary level students.  You can find the link in the caption below.  It was designed to be used at the beginning of the school year and have students find their “Ticket to Learning” for the year.  I modified the story to fit my needs, but left the clues almost identical.  
Here is a breakdown of how my game was setup:
The link to the game I used and modified can be found here.
  1. Students read the story introduction.  You can find the story here.
  2. I had two main boxes (read: luggage) for groups to open.  These boxes were locked with the directional lock, the 3 digit lock, and the 4 digit lock.  Each group worked together to use the map clue, the “look left, look right” clue, and the boarding passes clue from the original game to open the box.
  3. I had to modify the original game because I only have one alphanumeric lock.  I placed their “prize” inside my last piece of luggage and used the alphanumeric lock.  Inside the first boxes to open (see step 2), I placed two more clues.  The reverse alphabet clue told them where the last box was hidden.  It was behind a book case.  The final clue told them the combination.  Once they figured them out, they were able to open the final box and receive their Spring Break prize: sunglasses and sweat bands!
I am proud to share that of all three classes, the longest time spent breaking out was ONLY 30 minutes!  The kids were motivated and really worked hard to understand those clues, as well as work together.  And we all know how hard that can be for third graders, especially the day before a long break.  I had to prompt more heavily and give more clues for some groups, but it was a learning process for all involved.  Including myself!

It was worth the chaos.  I have some pictures that are worth a thousand words.  The smiles could light up a room.  Wish I could share them all with you (those darn photo releases)!  Be sure to check out #JCPSDeeperLearning on Twitter to see some more innovation!

Any of you looking to try BreakoutEdu for the first time?  Or have you tried it in the past?  I’d love to hear your success (and let’s do better next time) stories!  Share, share, share!


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About Me

About Me

Hi! My name is Sheryl and I am so thankful you've found your way to the TeacherLadyKY blog! I'm an elementary educator from Louisville, Kentucky who is passionate about building relationships and literacy skills with my students, as well as empowering teachers around me to be leaders and rockstars. I've taught everything from kindergarten to fifth grade and I can't wait to share my experiences with you! Enjoy! Read More


  • I moved into my house in late June of 2012. As I was sitting on the porch, less than a week later, this black and white baby came running through my yard and up to me, eager for some loving. 
She was tiny for her breed - nearly 20 pounds underweight and basically a bag of bones. She was so dirty.  Kids from the neighborhood said they had no idea who she belonged to - she’d been running for a while now. I took her in the backyard and she became a part of our family almost immediately. 
It took her a while to trust us. She wouldn’t let us pick her up. She bolted out the door anytime it was open. Even to this day, she hated fireworks and thunderstorms, which gave her such anxiety that she’d pant, pace, and shake.  We had no idea how old she was,  but we knew she’d seen a lot in her years. She had been terribly abused and, with us, she found a new life of love. 
And she loved so deeply. After a while, she learned that there were plenty of pets, kisses, and treats to go around. She leaned into our sides when she wanted some attention. She begged for walks and car rides. The last seven years of her life were good - so good.  She loved us all, but her Grandpa Dennis Boyd especially. She made our family of puppies complete and we couldn’t imagine life before her. 
Our sweet Hallie Grace crossed the rainbow bridge this afternoon, joining our Annabelle. I will miss her, just like I deeply miss my Belle, but I take comfort in knowing that they are together. ❤️❤️❤️
  • A couple of months ago, I posted about how I’d be moving from fifth grade down to fourth. Well, things change!

This week I accepted an offer to serve as the Backpack Leader at Foster Heights Elementary in Nelson County. I am so thrilled for this position since it allows me to work with teachers and help them level up their skills, but also allows me to stay grounded in my first love: teaching. I will still be responsible for a group of students each day and focused on deep learning with them.

It is bittersweet leaving a school and a district that I love - but when I feel the need to jump, I jump.  I can’t wait to do amazing things with some amazing people in NCS! #npossible
  • A rare day in summer when my makeup is on and my hair is down.  I am absolutely loving these lazy, summer days, but I’m also excited about all of the professional learning that will be happening over the next two weeks.

I’ll admit - it’s hard for me to take a break. But when I do, I break HARD! Learning how to balance and make process, while still taking care of myself.

Enjoy your summer, teachers! You’ve deserve it!

#teacher #teachersofinstagram #teachersonsummerbreak #teacherlife #teachersummer #professionallearning
  • It’s true. You are only as good as the people with whom you surround yourself.
  • Anyone else read two books at once? I keep switching between the two of these. They both started out slower than I wanted, but are starting to pick up.

Brave, Not Perfect is about learning to combat your inner perfectionist and focusing on being brave instead.  It’s a powerful message that more people need to hear and take to heart, myself included.

Everything All At Once is the story of Lottie, whose very famous writer aunt recently passed away, leaving her with 24 letters that includes directions for accomplishing specific tasks. It’s starting to get really good!

#bookstagram #booksofinsta #bookstagrammer #bookstagramit #bravenotperfect #everythingallatonce #teachersofinstagram #summerreading #summerreadinglist #teachersonsummerbreak
  • Did you know that elephants like to give triceratopses piggy nose rides? *Not to scale.

  • Ten years ago, I brought a little hound puppy home from the Kentucky Humane Society after begging my mom for YEARS for a dog. I knew Annabelle was ours the moment she bit my ear.

From there, Annabelle ruled the house. She sat co-pilot in the car. She was the absolute best snuggler. She loved wearing clothes. She could smile bigger than any dog I’ve ever met. 
She was also a mess and a half. She stole food from wherever she could get it. She was jealous - of other dogs, of Justin, of my new nieces. She plopped herself in my lap anytime she could to claim her territory, but when she was mad at me, refused to turn her face to look at me.

She was the leader of the pack, the first of four. 
Today we had to do the hardest thing I, personally, have ever had to do. Having a dog as an adult is way different than having a dog as a kid. My heart is broken into a million pieces. Mama loves you, Belly girl.
  • I took a trip to the library yesterday and gobbled this one up in a couple of hours. I picked it from the shelf on its name alone and it did not fail to disappoint. Audacious is a novel written in verse from the perspective of a girl who has a knack for pushing the boundaries in every way.

It was a beautiful reminder of the beauty - and the chaos - that comes from walking the unknown, just because you felt like it.

#audacious #audaciousbook #bookstagram #bookstagrammers #teachersofinstagram #teachersonsummerbreak #kentuckyteacher #teacherswhoread #youngadultreads #youngadultnovel #youngadultlit #yalit #ya #read #reader #readersofig
  • Summer reading book #2 is finished! This sweet book, the sequel to #therosieproject, failed to hold my attention as well as the first, but was still so perfect. Don is one of my absolute favorite characters, as cringeworthy as he is. I give #therosieeffect 4/5 stars!

Up next on my summer reading list is #bravenotperfect by @reshmasaujani.

#summerreading #summertime #teacherswhoread #teachersonsummerbreak #bookstagram #bookshelf #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #stopteacherguilt

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The TeacherLadyKY blog header and logo were designed by Sheryl, using fonts from A Primary Kind of Life and Brittney Murphy Design.  Clip art is courtesy of Irina Bandyk, whose Etsy shop is WatercolorCliparts.  The blog theme used is Emilia by Georgia Lou Studios.