Using puzzles, games, breakout boxes and escape rooms have become a trend in education. We recently had a #2ndaryELA Twitter chat about using puzzles and games in the ELA classroom. Read about how these teachers are incorporating these strategies into their lessons.
Q1: How are you already using puzzles and games in your classroom?
A1: I’m currently gaga for Escape Rooms, particularly as an engaging review before a test. Ss love working together to solve these puzzles!
A1: I am obsessed with digital breakouts and my students love the challenge. I use them to review literary elements and preview or review texts.
A1: I have used @breakoutEDU in my classroom. We also have done scavenger hunts with QR codes.
A1 con’t: The scavenger hunt is paper QR codes hung up around the room and hallway for students to scan and get information
A1: I am looking for some ideas tonight. I have thought about breakout boxes, but haven’t made one yet
A1: Lots of breakout box ideas online
A1: I made my first “escape room” when my class read “A Christmas Carol”
A1: I’m totally obsessed, but I haven’t gotten into actual boxes much – I’ve been focused on the puzzles. Have you ever played a live escape room? So fun!
A1: We’ve made writing bingo recently! It’s an individual thing, but it makes writing a bit more enjoyable. B-I-N-G-O… in the classroom? https://t.co/3GKRnCo70d
A1: One of my students earned bingo, and blogged about it — https://t.co/SOJay4Sa6p
Q2: What positive outcomes have you witnessed with these learning tools? Tell us about your favorite activity.
A2: I love trivia, and wanted to bring that joy to my students. I made a daily trivia bell ringer and students work in the same teams all month. This has really increased collaboration, team spirit, and punctuality!
A2: Breakouts often engage the students you wouldn’t expect. My favorite moments are when students solve one before me
A2: I had a formal observation with my escape and earned 2 ratings of “innovating”. Plus all my Ss were truly engaged.
A2: What exactly is a breakout box – how is that different from an escape?
A2: The concept is the same, but students actually receive some code or combination at the end of each puzzle. They can then unlock an actual box.
A2: I use Kahoot! which is an online game that I mainly use as a review. The kids are extremely engaged and they always ask when we are going to play
A2: Additionally, if the boxes nest, the puzzles have to be progressive (not stations) and completed in order.
Q3: How do you assure your students meet learning outcomes and standards while playing and puzzling?
A3: I make sure puzzles are based on standards. For example, each Escape Room task students complete is aligned to a skill, like sequencing plot events or identifying characterization.
A3: Using breakouts that require content knowledge to be solved keeps puzzling connected to standards
A3: I matched each activity to a standard. Successful completion of the activity demonstrated proficiency
A3: My kids enjoy Kahoot too! We have run into an issue with someone hacking the games and creating extra users. Has this happened to you?
A3: My admin liked how all the Ss really had to work together to solve the puzzles. There was no way for one person to do all the work.
Q4: What struggles and questions do you still have for using more puzzles and games in the ELA classroom?
A4: I think I still struggle with not making them too hard!
A4 I’d love to get a breakout kit so I could do some digital, some hands-on, and some combinations
Q5: Share resources for using puzzles and games in the classroom (e.g. blog posts, Pinterest ideas).
A5: I’ve written about other types of puzzles I use (like mechanical entanglement puzzles!) on my blog. You can check that post out here: https://t.co/fZ8iJSc0M1
A5: Of course! We also have a Facebook group if you want to ask for help there – it’s https://t.co/vPbDKIJPkg
A5: Here’s a blog post about planning out a digital breakout https://t.co/N7GyolthEO
A5 cont: And another blog post full of resources for creating your own digital breakout https://t.co/51w0I5tagT