It is hard to believe the 2017-18 school year is already half over! I would like to share with you some information about Break Out boxes. This is something I first heard about at the 2016-17 NLA/NSLA conference in Kearney. I attended a session presented by Crys Bauermeister and part of her presentation involved talking about Break Out boxes used in the library. I found the presentation very interesting and brought the information back to share with my teachers. Our Academic Decathlon moderator, who is also one of our English teachers, purchased two of the Break Out boxes from Breakoutedu.com. If your budget does not allow you to purchase the pre-made kits online, it is very easy to create your own kits using items purchased at local retail stores. The official Breakout kits include: 1 large locking box, 1 small locking box, 1 hasp, variety of locks (alpha, directional, color wheels, number wheels, three digit, four digit, and key), reflection cards, red lens viewer, UV light, USB thumb drive and 2 hint cards.
The website has free registration and offers several free games already created by fellow educators, digital games and a tutorial for how to create your own digital game by offering free design a game tools. I assisted our English teacher with a Breakout game on Shakespeare that she was able to find free online. My goal is to create a Breakout session of my own to share with the English department in the future. The students had fun working through the puzzles to get to the final prize.
One other take away from Crys’s session was providing a jigsaw puzzle in the library for students, faculty and staff to put together. I started providing 1000 piece puzzles that were put together on our circulation desk. This went over really well with students, faculty and staff. My principal even made a comment that he liked the idea of the puzzle creating a sense of community with the puzzle being available for everyone to work on together.
I hope you find Breakout EDU and jigsaw puzzles to be a positive addition to your library.