Monday, January 8, 2018

Breakout EDU

Breakout EDU

A Breakout EDU is similar an escape room.  Participants use clues to solve puzzles and “breakout” of the situation they have been given.  The goal of a Breakout EDU is to have student gain content knowledge through student-led exploration, problem-solving and teamwork.

Through the past two years, I have been hearing a lot about Breakout EDU. However, I didn’t really understand what it was until I was able to participate in an actual Breakout EDU.

Due to this experience, Shelley (our instructional coach) and I developed a Christmas themed digital Breakout to introduce Breakout EDUs to our staff. This Christmas Breakout didn’t focus on the teachers learning new content, but instead exploring how a Breakout is set up. Feel free to click on the link and explore this breakout.

A screenshot of our Christmas Breakout EDU
Since this experience with a digital Breakout EDU, several teachers have begun to explore them even more.  If you are interested in using a Breakout EDU in your classroom, there are several different options for both the physical Breakout as well as the digital ones. You can build your own activity or you can use/modify one that has already been created.

Here are a few resources:

Pinterest - This is where I have found the majority of the Breakouts I have explored.  Some of them are on teachers pay teachers and there is a cost, but there are also free ones available as well.

Breakout EDU - This link will show you how to sign up for free access to several Breakout EDUs (physical ones, which require a kit)

TEMPLATE - This site provide a template if you are interested in creating your own digital Breakout EDU.

Teachers - There are several teachers at the Jr./Sr. High Staff who have either created, played or used Breakouts in their classrooms this school year (or they are about to).  Please feel free to contact myself, Mrs. Mitzelfelt or Mrs. Cooper if you have any questions about Breakout EDU.

Breakout EDU at SEW:

Mrs. Cooper's Jr. High TAG students recently completed a Minecraft themed breakout called "Back to Reality." It was great to watch them work together as a team to problem-solve and figure out the clues to breakout!

This group was able to break out the fastest!

Working hard to figure out the clues.
I recently had my English 9 students complete a digital breakout entitled "Escape from Plot Mountain," and they really enjoyed it.  

This group was the first to Breakout.  Their excellent communication and teamwork definitely helped them to succeed in this challenge.

This is a screenshot of a poll I gave to my students after they completed the Breakout.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

MakerSpace Demo Day in the Primary Building

In December, Jeff Glade (Technology Integrationist from Heartland AEA) came to demonstrate different MakerSpace and STEM resources that can be used and incorporated into Science, Technology and Math instruction.  The students and teachers had the opportunity to learn about and try out Ozobots, Osmos, Spheros, SnapCircuits and more! It was so much fun finding out more about these resources, and we are looking forward to having more MakerSpace items available to our classrooms in the future!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Strategy Spotlight: Review Strategies

This weeks spotlight is review strategies for quizzes/exams. The two highlighted strategies could be used in any content area.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Spotlight Strategy: Surviving the holidays

This week's Spotlight Strategy has some tips for getting through the last few weeks of the semester and surviving the holiday madness. Hope you find something useful, or at the very least get a chuckle for the day.

December Tech Tip - FLIPGRID


Flipgrid is a video discussion platform.  Teachers can post topics to their grid and students respond by recording a short video.

There are many ways that teachers can use Flipgrid in the classroom. One great way it could be used in all content areas is as a discussion board, similar to posting a question on Google Classroom and asking the students to respond through text.  Students can post their responses as well as video the other videos.

(With the free version, videos cannot be more than 90 seconds, so keep that in mind when creating the task/question for students to complete.)

Example lesson - Miss Sealock used Flipgrid to jigsaw new vocabulary words from the story the students were reading. Each student was responsible for learning their word and teaching it to their classmates through the video*. They then had to watch the other videos to learn ALL of the vocabulary words on their own. Here are the videos they created.

*The teacher moderated the posts, so she viewed them for accuracy before posting them to the grid for all the students to see.

Here are some ideas for possible ways to use Flipgrid in various content areas:

  • Book talks: students can talk about a recent book they read and their thoughts on the book. This could be shared with other students as a way to introduce them to other book choices.

  • Students explain the process of cellular respiration step by step, showcasing drawings they make of each aspect as they explain.

  • Students record themselves explaining an important rule or walking someone through an example problem to explain how they got the answer.

  • Students explain how to effectively execute a certain exercise or how to use a piece of equipment and then they watch each other’s videos to learn about all of them.

Social Studies:
  • Students give mini reports on important people or events during the time period being studied.

  • Students record themselves pronouncing vocabulary words
  • They could also respond to a question in Spanish, and the teacher could check it for accuracy and pronunciation.

  • Students show a piece of their artwork and discuss why they created it, how they created it, etc.


  • Student record themselves singing or playing for the teacher to provide feedback to the students.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Power Thinking Strategy

This weeks Strategy Spotlight is Power Thinking. Power Thinking helps students to differentiate between main ideas and supporting details. It is an organizational tool for reading, writing, and studying. Power Thinking could be used in any content area. Check out the first video for information about Power Thinking.

The following video shows you some examples of how to teach your students to set Power Thinking up and an example to use.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November Tech Tip - Screencastify

Screencastify is a Chrome extension that allows you to record your screen while also recording your voice.  

There are a lot of different ways this could be used in the classroom. I actually learned about this specific extension from a student who was using it to create a project for Mrs. Ewing’s class.  They used this tool to record their computer screen instead of recording themselves on video teaching their content.

Another use for this extension could be to record notes or lessons to share with the students.  A teacher could record themselves talking through a PowerPoint to provide students a lesson when the student is absent or when the teacher has a substitute.  

There are lots of options with tool, and I would love to help you explore it more if you are interested.

This video shows how to add the extension. You can click here to go straight to the extension in the web store.

This video explains how to use Screencastify.