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Team Challenge Tuesday: Digital BREAKOUT

I was scrolling through my camera roll last week and I came across this picture from the first part of April. My middle school classes (and this group in particular) were deep in thought over an April Fools' Day digital breakout from Mr. & Mrs. Rooster.

This was the second digital breakout that we had done this semester, and the 5th "team challenge" activity.

I loved the digital breakout for it's ease of use (both teacher and student), and that it was ready to go. I just had to link to our Google classroom page and print out the answer sheet for teams to fill out.

As a whole, my two middle school classes have STRUGGLED with activities that require them to problem solve, follow directions, and find the answers on their own. They want me to show/tell them exactly what the answer is without putting in any effort. They LOVE doing digital breakouts and team challenges (often STEM focused) but wow, do several of the groups complain while they are doing them. Here are just a few of the comments I hear throughout the class period:

"We can't find the answer." "What's the answer?"

"I don't understand."

Now, please note, that this breakout was NOT too challenging and several groups finished it around the 25 minute mark (I had budgeted 40 minutes for the activity). It is designed for 4th-8th grades and my groups are 6th and 7th graders. If you actually take the time to READ the clues, every puzzle can be solved without difficulty. But, I do have students who STRUGGLE with doing the work themselves. They simply want to give up and have the teacher (or their friends) give them the answer. Hence, why we've started to incorporate these activities into the class.

However, they've requested another digital breakout for the end of the year. Fingers crossed that their mindset has shifted and ALL the groups will be successful.


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