Self-Paced Professional Development Course

What is BreakoutEDU?

BreakoutEDU is a game that will have your students thinking critically, problem-solving, troubleshooting, working collaboratively and having so much fun they won't even realize how much they are using their brains!

Attribution: Most of the content for this self-paced PD course come from BreakoutEDU creators James Sanders and Mark Hammons from their site

Introducing Breakout EDU

How can I use it to enhance & transform my classroom?

BreakoutEDU games will revive your students' interest in using their brains and develop important skills for success in school and in life:

  • critical thinking
  • problem solving
  • troubleshooting
  • collaboration
  • content area skills including math, science, social studies and language arts
Big image

What are other educators saying about it?

  • "How great it is to be given an opportunity to apply past knowledge and make connections in order to solve new problems." - Maria Galanis, BreakoutEDU - You Had Me At Breakout

  • "It’s about struggle in learning. Struggle is fun, exhausting, exhilarating, and it’s good practice for us to step out of kids way, allow them to rely on themselves and their classmates, and make things happen." - Krissy Venosdale, It's Time to Breakout... in Elementary

Self-Paced Training

Here are the basics of how BreakoutEDU works:

Big image
Big image
Big image
Big image
Breakout Movie Trailer
Participating in a BreakoutEDU game is very helpful in learning how it works and being able to facilitate a game in your own classroom. Look for a BreakoutEDU session at a education conference near you!

If you'd like to see a BreakoutEDU game in action with students, we'd welcome you to visit us in Montezuma, IN. Just contact Rachel Porter to set that up!


It's time to dive in and let your students experience this activity! You may find that facilitating the first game in your classroom is a critical thinking activity for you! But it will be completely worth it!

1. Get your boxes.

  • Purchase a complete kit from BreakoutEDU. These cost $99 + $19 shipping and currently take about 4 weeks to receive (they actually handcraft those awesome boxes!)
  • Build your own. Use the provided list to compile all of the items yourself, saving a little money and getting your kit faster (but without the cool wooden box marked BreakoutEDU).

2. Find a game! Now you need to determine the game you want to play with your students. Click the button below to browse the game collections. Tested games are listed first and have been well reviewed. "In Beta" games are found on the lower portion of the page and in the "sandbox" button. These are games that are still being reviewed and tested, so you should proceed with them knowing that there may be some kinks.

All games are password protected to prevent players looking up solutions during play. To get the password, you can sign up to be part of their beta testing team at or you can email to ask for it.

Find a Game

click here to browse the available games

3. Prepare. Carefully go through the instructions and materials for your chosen game. You'll need to set locks to specific codes, print items (often in color) and may need to purchase some minor add-ons. Make sure you take time to do this carefully so you don't ruin your game!
4. Breakout! Carryout the game with your students! Here are some guidelines to follow:
  • Set the stage.
    Explain to students that you are going to have them work together in teams to solve a puzzle that is going to really challenge their brains. It is a race to see which team can solve the puzzle first. Give the game scenario and basics of how to play.
  • Explain the Hint Cards

    The hint cards allow the players to work to their frustration level, but not beyond. At any point in the game when the players get stuck or frustrated they can ask for a hint. As the facilitator, you can decide how much information you want to give them. It is important that you are familiar with the game and know how all the puzzles are solved, so that you can provide effective hints. If you don’t know the game, go back to the game page ( and watch the video for that game. Here’s a blog post with different perspectives on the role of the hint cards.

  • Review some rules.
    Explain any places in the room that are off limits (maybe the teacher’s desk, book shelves) or any other rules you want to establish.
  • Give some tips.
    Talk to your students about The 5 Tips for Success.
  • Stay out of it!
    You may find it very hard to not help them, but don't give in to the temptation to nudge them in the right direction! Your only involvement should be to keep order, announce time, and give single hints in exchange for a hint card. When you feel yourself tempted to step in, remember that you are trying to build problem-solving skills and break students of their tendency to rely on others to figure things out for them!
  • Take pictures!
    Take at least one picture of your students engaged in the game. This will be the evidence you need to earn your badge.
Game Facilitation Slides

includes tips for success, timer, signs and debrief questions

5. Celebrate & Debrief. When you have a winner or time runs out, be sure to take a moment to celebrate students' successes and talk about failures. Remind them that they can learn just as much from failure! One great idea is to take pictures of the groups with fun signs and post to a class blog or other social media. You can have students respond to the debrief questions as a class discussion or make a google form to collect individual responses.

Rachel Porter

I'd love to help you learn more about implementing BreakoutEDU. Contact me with questions specific to your classroom!

Are you responsible for PD or in a leadership role? Visit BreakoutEDU | SWP for a version of this course that is specific to my district. See our system for checking out shared BreakoutEDU kits and earning a professional development certificate/badge for completing the course.