Teacher Breakout from Institute Day

By Tammy Cantagallo - IRON CUE Innovative Ed. Competition

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Iron Chef, CUE style?

I am competing against my fellow Innovative Educator cohort members to create the most innovative lesson utilizing an assigned secret ingredient. I recently learned that my secret ingredient is a tablet! I believe my innovative lesson will reign supreme!

Are you familiar with the newest trend in entertainment?

It's a social, face to face game called a Breakout or Room Escape. Players are locked into a room and must search for clues, solve problems, and decipher codes, in order to locate the key. With the key in hand, they can breakout or escape the room. A variety of fun twists can be added, like a zombie actor chained to the wall whose chain gets longer every 5 minutes!! These games are often played for entertainment with friends or as corporate team building activities. The most recent trend has been to use breakouts as a way to engage students in the 4 Cs: critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration. Breakout games developed for students have recently been dubbed as Breakout Edu. What an amazing, engaging experience this can be for learners of all ages!

Learn more about breakouts/ room escapes:

Entertainment Breakouts in the Chicago area:

Room Escape Adventures

D.O.A. Room Escape

Breakout Chicago


More information about Breakout Edu:

Article: Breakout Edu: Escape from the Traditional Classroom

A company selling kits: Breakout Edu This company also provides a platform for teachers to share their games with others.

My Concept for First Day Back Teacher Institute --------------------------------> Breakout to Lunch

Do teacher institute days sound like this in your school?

Imagine watching this an hour before lunch:

Breakout to Lunch

Guaranteed to be Social, Productive, and Fun.

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How the iPad is utilized in the game:

  • To get staff excited about the game, use an iPad to project the Mission video.
  • Use an iPad to project the official timer, set for 60 minutes.
  • Clues will include uses of the iPad. The goal is to get teachers learning about their iPads. For Example:
  1. Teachers must FaceTime with the new superintendent. After each team member has asked her a question they'd like to know, she will give them their next clue.
  2. Teachers must tweet out their favorite app using #breakouttolunch or #schoolpride.
  3. Teachers must create an infographic summarizing the Buck Institute's Gold Standards for Project Based Learning (or any current model you are following in your school), and submit the finished product to the Learning Management System.
  • iPads will also be used as part of the room set up. For example:
  1. Teachers will ask new staff members questions that generate a number as the answer, such as birthdate, number of years teaching, or number of children. These numbers make a passcode that is then entered onto an iPad sitting somewhere in the room, which opens up information about the next clue.
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