Round two of ISTEP, Indiana’s version of a state-wide, high stakes test, occurs this week. Across Indiana’s 300+ public school districts, classrooms have reviewed through all sorts of methods. Here in Fishers, skills are reviewed through collaborative, interactive and fun ways. One teacher in particular recently found a way to make skill review a fun and engaging learning experience: ISTEP BREAKOUT!
Similar to the trendy sites around town where teams of friends (or strangers) can embark on an ‘escape’ journey for a fee, Breakout in the classroom is a team activity. Student groups solve their breakout puzzle through collaborative problem solving. In the case of Mrs. Porzuczek’s class, breaking out meant solving math problems with puzzling clues – problems that reviewed important fourth grade math concepts!
Breakout kits can be purchased for classrooms now, but Mrs. P., a fourth grade teacher at Brooks School Elementary, designed her own Breakout experiences and bought her own supplies. I visited Mrs. P.’s class to ask how they liked the new review style – and, no surprise, the students loved Breakout. Just look at a few of their comments following the experience. (You can pause the slide show to read each comment fully!)