MHS faculty breakout problem-solving skills

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

Maplesville High School took team building to a new level with Breakout Edu during an Aug. 8 in-service.

Patterned after the popular Breakout rooms, where teams have a set amount of time to solve puzzles to unlock the room, Breakout Edu kits contain two locked boxes and clues that are spread throughout the room.

Teachers and staff were divided into two teams in a race against time, and the other team, for a free lunch at the local Mexican restaurant in Maplesville.

Teachers searched high and low for clues, knowing they had found one when a sticker with the color of their team was on the back.

The orange team got their box unlocked with 29 of the 45 minutes remaining.

Orange team member Rebekah Deloach, a first-grade teacher, said she had participated in three Breakout room scenarios.

“It was nice to work with colleagues and not just friends because we can use those skills in the classroom,” Deloach said.

She said her team was able to build on each other’s strengths. She was good at finding clues, while others were better at solving them.

Orange team member Teresa Stewart, who teaches Family and Consumer Science, said it was her first time doing a Breakout game, and she is looking forward to using Breakout Edu with her students. She said it would help them with critical thinking, creative problem solving and “taking responsibility for their decisions.”

MHS assistant principal Erica Farnham said the school has purchased two kits for teachers to use with their students. The product website provides different scenarios to modify the game for a variety of subjects and grade levels.

“It promotes critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity,” Farnham said.

Farnham had participated in a Breakout Edu game during a previous training.

“It gives you puzzles and you have to work together to unlock the box,” Farnham said.

The box had multiple types of locks, and each corresponded to a different clue.

Farnham set the stage for the game by reading a scenario.

“We have a problem with our agenda …The problem is Mr. Glasscock doesn’t want our meeting to ever end, so he has locked the last part of the agenda in our box,” Farnham said. “If we don’t get the box open, we can’t finish the meeting and we will stuck in this room forever.”

Hints were available, if the team found a hint card, but the winning team did not need any.