I love Breakout games and watching students interact with each other to solve problems. What I don’t like about physical breakout games is students missing out on some of the puzzles. The collaboration is great, but when using it as a review, not all students experience the same things. Digital breakouts can be done in groups of 2 or individually and allow the students to experience all of the puzzles.
I created a tutorial for digital breakouts a few years ago, but with the changes to Google sites, the process is sooooo much easier now.
Here is an image that outlines the basic steps.
- I try to write my prompts and story ahead of time. This saves me time when I’m putting everything in a Google Site. For the Christmas Breakout I recently wrote, my story line was kind of lame 😦 but it went along with the 12 days of Techmas I created for my school.
2 and 3. I create my clues in Google Drawing or Google Slides, and I use outside sources like jigsawplanet.com and Snotes. The more creative you are the more fun your breakout will be. I was provided a document from Charles (I wish I knew your last name) at the EdTech Team Summit in Topeka. His crowd-sourced document is loaded with great ideas for digital breakouts.
This first image of the gnome I uploaded into jigsaw planet and created a puzzle, and the second one has a clue hidden in the music notes. You can also overlay transparent images on a Google Drawing so it makes an area clickable. See the animation below.
You can add more images for visual appeal or as fake clues. You also want your background and titles to be fun. I created some fun graphics in my TrianglesOnly.com breakout.
4. You will use a Google Form to create your locks. I sometimes embed a countdown timer from youtube. BreakoutEDU has a great one that is free to use.
You can also use images of locks to visually represent what lock they are looking for. You want to click the 3 dots in the bottom right corner and select response validation. Set the lock code to what you want. Remember, they are case sensitive so tell your audience how to type it.
5. Now we will put it all together. I use Google Sites (sites.google.com) and house everything there. You can pull directly from your Google Drive to embed your Google Drawings (with transparent links), Google Forms, and any images you have stored in your drive. Word of caution, if you plan to use multiple pages (which I sometimes do) have participants open the Google Form in a new tab so they don’t lose the combinations they have already entered when they click on a new link in the site. If you are not familiar with Google Sites, Matt Miller has a walk-through on Ditch That Textbook that will help.
Here is a link to a Christmas Breakout I made to follow-up our 12 Days of Techmas.
And another Breakout for Geometry called TrianglesOnly.com
Hopefully you will find creating Digital Breakouts as fun as I do. I know my students love them.
Stop Motion videos in Google Slides is such an easy project for teachers and students. I first learned about Stop Motion from @ericcurts on his blog Control Alt Achieve. @jmattmiller also has some fun stop motion information on his blog too.
I created a super short little stop motion that I turned into an animated gif using Tall Tweets then embedded into a Google slide presentation, even cropping it because it acts as an image.
Stop motion videos are super easy to make in Google Slides. For the one above, I created background then I drug in my Bitmoji and placed it at the top.
Next you duplicate the slide and using the arrow keys or sliding with your mouse, move your image a little bit.
Continue the process until you have moved your object to the end. This short little movie had 11 slides total.
Now the fun begins. Using the website Tall Tweets, load your Google Slide, this sometimes takes a bit depending on the size. Next, select the duration. Play with this a little until the movie looks like you want. You can check by clicking the create gif button. When you are happy with your movie, you can save it or tweet it.
Below are some stop motion videos I created for a Triangle Congruence lesson. So yes, you can use stop motion for academic purposes too. Image how much fun it would be for students to create their own!
If you make stop motion videos, please share and tag me on Twitter @TTmomTT. I would LOVE to see them!
I REALLY dislike cutting out paper activities. This dislike is what prompted me to create my first activity (drag and drop Geometry Proofs) with technology. When my team found a fun Memory Game activity I CRINGED at the thought of cutting out all of those sets and then finding a place to store them.
I went through a few attempts to create a memory game in Google Slides. I thought about linking pages but I needed to see two at a time. I wanted to remove one element “on click” but I could only get them to dissolve in a specific order. I settled on deleting the cards and it worked like a charm.
I know, you are all wanting to create your own memory game now! You’re in luck, I have a quick tutorial for you!
I used the basic white background so it didn’t distract from game. Place all of the “back side” of the cards, the part with the content, evenly spaced on your background. I ended up putting boxes around mine to help me get them spaced. I love that Google Slides give you guide lines as you place your items.
You can also use the arrange menu and select horizontal or vertical and align them perfectly.
This is probably the most important step. We don’t want the background to be deleted while we are playing the game. Once you have the “back side” set exactly as you want it, go to file – download as – and pick jpg or png.
Once it’s downloaded, delete all of your elements. I know, that’s scary. I do go into my history and set that version as editable background, you know, just in case you made a mistake.
Now you will set this as the background. There is a background button on the top middle of the menu bar. Once you click it, select your image and set as the background. Now you can breathe again. All of that work is still there, not gone forever!
We are ready to make the cards. I used the rectangle shape and held down the SHIFT key to make sure I had perfect squares.
I used the gradient tool to select the background and put a ? on it just like the original memory game.
One suggestion from my students was to make this an image so the ? wasn’t editable. Sometimes when clicking on the square they got the ? instead.
You can copy and paste these and use the align tool again to get them close to where you want them. Then move them exactly where you need them.
Create the rules page. I’ve included the image of my rules page below. It explains how you would “flip” the cards over to play the game.
Play the game!
I sent this to my students through Google Classroom and said make a copy for each student. They enjoyed it and learned from the activity as well.
If you make a memory game, please share! I love to see how people use my ideas.
I started to share this project with someone the other day and realized I had never written a blog post for it. We have used this project for quite some time and I love the digital aspect having students label their image and explain their process. We have the students make the clinometers but we give them little guidance as far as the project goes. We want them to problem solve and figure it out. We simply tell them to go measure something bigger than they are. I also limit their travel to school grounds (I did have a student go to the nearby gas station once. You have to be specific!!) I had a group of students last year that forgot their tape measure so they measured in shoe length (yes, I had a one-shoed student outside) and then converted that to inches when they came inside. I love the thought process behind their solution!
Not only does this give purpose to the study of trig, it also gets students outside and working together. It also helps students understand angle of elevation a little better with concrete examples.
I love the first one. She wrote a word problem for her image. Hmm… might have to steal that idea!!
I’ve included my clinometer document (I did steal the image from someone, sorry whoever you are!) and my scoring guide.
I’m sitting here watching my Algebra 1 students take the EOC, hoping that I’ve prepared them for the questions they will encounter on the test. I don’t like that we can’t see the questions to know if we have taught them the right stuff or asked the questions the right way.
One thing I do to get them ready is to have them practice graphing electronically. I created performance event type questions in Google Slides. They practice labeling each axis, dragging the dots to the grid and using the line tool to draw a line. Hopefully our practice will pay off!
I know students want to do well and teachers want to prepare them well. It’s more challenging when you have no idea what the questions will be. Good luck Algebra 1 troopers!
I’ve shared two of my performance events below. They are set to view only so make a copy. If you use it and find them helpful, please let me know.
Through #MTBoS I found a video from (insert name here when I find it again) talking about using Google in the classroom. I’m always looking for ideas I haven’t thought of before. Most of the video was reinforcement for what I already do but he did have a foldable (please comment if this is yours so I can credit you) created in Google Slides. I loved it.
I combined this foldable with a QR scavenger hunt to reinforce question prompts in quadratic word problems. This was a thinking activity for the students. They don’t usually like thinking activities. They did enjoy the QR part and I could tell by the discussions at the tables that thinking was happening. In the end, they had a resource to use while working their practice problems.
Below are the links to my files. They are set to read only so you’ll have to make a copy to use them. You will also want to make your own QR codes so students are pulling these images from your Drive. I used the goo.gl extension in my Chrome browser.
If you use this idea please leave a comment or send me a tweet. I love to get ideas from others too!