We started off part of our STEM grant this week with a Breakout EDU pretest game about using Google email. It was not only a good way to get the students used to GMail on the chromebooks but was an exercise in perseverance and patience. A timer was set for 45 minutes and students had to work independently to try and decipher the clues for each of the 4 locks. They had to get each answer correct before they were given the next clue in the sequence. The first lock required them to put in a URL address correctly, watch a video, and answer a question. Lock two had them looking at an image on the chromebook and trying to find the correct answer within the image. Only 7 made it to this stage. Lock 3 had them trying to figure out an alpha numeric code. One lone student made it to this step. Lock 4 would have been for them to send me an email with a picture attachment. None made it to this stage. At the end of the 45 minutes, I walked through all 4 of the locks and how to solve them. Sadly the prize inside, M&Ms were not won by any of them so I let them know I'd just have to eat them myself. After we were finished, we had a great classroom discussion about how we would be working throughout the year on their critical thinking skills and that when we tried a similar puzzle at the end of the year I had no doubts that they would get farther than they had today. When I asked how many of them were going to try hard next time and do even better, everyone raised their hands. I guess they didn't have any doubts either. ☺
That's Elementary Explains is a teacher with almost 2 decades of teaching experience and a technology degree who is still trying to figure out the new and unexplained.