I was able to add Breakout boxes to my classroom this year due to a Lion Grant provided by the Central Lyon Foundation. Breakout boxes are similar to a panic room experience. There are multiple locks that are attached to the breakout box and the students must solve problems to figure out the codes for the locks. The goal is to get all of the locks unlocked in a certain amount of time.
I have used the boxes in my classes and the students really enjoy the tasks. In order to get through the tasks, the students must work together as a team and must communicate with each other. It is a great way to get students to talk about different topics in mathematics. As I observed the students in their groups, I noticed that some new leaders emerged. Students that typically do not say much in class were all of a sudden taking charge and leading. It was a great experience for the students.
These boxes can be used for all subject areas. Mr. Engleman and I put one together for the middle school and high school staff so we could introduce them to the teachers. Hopefully, teachers in other subject areas will make use to the boxes as well. They really are a valuable tool for learning.