#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

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



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