Teachers are finding that engaging students in problem solving through escape games is encouraging critical thinking and creativity.
At Williwcreek Middle School, teachers worked on mat equations, riddles, and quotation, figuring out clues that led to tools. when the codes were cracked, locks opened and teachers could escape. They were learning a new teaching tool, escape exercises, introduced by school media specialist Kate Becker/
Becker learned about the exercise during a summer conference. She wanted to bring it to school and after raising funds, purchased four escape kits from an education company online.
“I saw value in it. It helps teach collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and how to communicate,” Bieker said. “The critical thinking part of this is huge.”
Christine Ellis, an eighth grade English teacher, already uses the activity with students. “It gets them out of the traditional 45 minutes of sitting in a classroom,” she said. “Eighth-graders need to get up and move for their brains to learn.”
Most of Ellis’ students did not complete the task in the required time, but most wanted to remain and finish.
“It is collaborative, they have to work together to succeed,” she said, adding that all her students found the activity challenging.