News Archive


Make a Break for It!
Posted 10/16/2018 03:40PM

Fourth graders work together to crack codes

It’s not quite “Escape from Alcatraz,” but our elementary students recently have become quite adept at cracking codes and picking locks – all in the name of learning!

4th Grade BreakOUTSince the beginning of the year, students have participated in Breakout EDU sessions, which brings the fun and exciting escape room trend into the classroom. The Breakout EDU kit consists of a unique collection of resettable locks, boxes, and items that can be used to play immersive learning games. Using the math, reading, and IB knowledge taught in the classroom, students are able to crack codes and open locks to successfully “break out” of a box.  This method of 21st century learning is referred to as gamified learning, and students must use the Four C’s to be successful. What are the Four C’s?   Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity. Add that to their content area and voila! You’ve activated the fifth C!

All of the fourth grade classes participated in the Breakout EDU sessions as part of their unit of inquiry, “M.I. Smart,” which focuses on multiple intelligences and the different ways people learn. During the 45-minute sessions in the DREAM Lab with Mrs. Layton, students were broken into groups of five or six. In order to succeed, they had to work together to answer questions and solve problems. While many of the student groups were able to break out – and some groups were one lock away from freedom – Mrs. Layton and the other teachers focused on the true lesson of the exercise, which was the process of working together. The teams that were successful mastered the art of using the strengths of everyone in the group.

Please watch as our fourth-grade students use their knowledge of multiplication to race against the clock and break the locks!

The M.I. Smart unit is part of the IB Primary Years Programme Transdisciplinary Theme: Who We Are.  Throughout the PYP (taught to children ages three – fifth grade), the transdisciplinary themes focus on issues that span subject areas.  Who We Are is an inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

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