We started our school year off with a bang... well, a locked box! It began when I found that Breakout EDU had created some Back to School Games. I chose one that I felt was appropriate for my 5th graders and used the Dr. Seuss book "Oh, the Places You Will Go!" I wanted to start our year off working collaboratively and to use the experiences to build a set of student-generated expectations of what was required for working in a group.
I began the class with a "bell ringer" that asked my kids to finish these thoughts using math as the main idea
- I am excited
- I wonder
- I am nervous
- I wish we could
I just wanted to get a quick idea of my students' ideas, thoughts, and feelings towards math.
Once this was complete, I introduced our challenge. A box that was locked with three different locks (on a hasp) that must be opened in order for us to retrieve our "ticket to learn" for this year.
We had a shorter amount of class time today (60 minutes) due to the fact that we wanted to spend some time getting to know the students and we also had a plethora of parent notes that needed to go home. So, with a 45 minute time frame, just to break into the box, we did not get to work on our expectations today.
This was actually part of my plan. I am giving my classes two different challenges these first two days so that they have some experiences to build upon. While every group, in every class WAS successful in breaking out of the box, we did have a major glitch.... one of the locks somehow had the combination changed mid-game so that 1/2 of 2nd period and all of 3rd period were unable to actually unlock all of the locks. FRUSTRATING!
However, all of my classes seemed to both enjoy the challenge AND enjoy a very different beginning to their school year. I am looking forward to working with this great group of kids!