Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Breakout for Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro

 I wrote my first breakout! It's finished and ready! It was super fun to write and my kids are loving it.

El Perrito Está Perdido- Lost Lucky

Thanks to Carol Gaab and FluencyMatters for giving me permission to share freely with other teachers.  Please note that this breakout is licensed under an Atttribution-NonCommercial- ShareAlike 4.0 Creative Commons License.  That means you can share and adapt it as long as you do not profit from it. Use of this work or any part of it for commercial purposes is not permitted.

What is this breakout all about?

In the book Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro, a dog gets lost and found, but we don't really know what happened.  This is the story of the girl who lost the dog.  It is written from her perspective and should be comprehensible for students who have read the book.  There is also a past-tense version of the readings if you want to run it with that text.  Bonus- once you set up the clues, you don't have to do anything other than swap out the readings.

What is a breakout anyway?  

Here are some useful articles for teachers who use CI and Breakouts.
What they are and how to put together a kit
Breakout for Newbies
Breakout Edu Website  (Confession- I find the website and sharing platform to be difficult and frustrating.  I love the activities but the website is just hard to use!)

Some words of advice:
1) This breakout is HARD!  There are suggestions in the set-up documents for how to make it easier or more challenging.
2) I do not run this breakout as a timed breakout.  It is hard!  Instead, I give students a certain number of "tries" with each lock- between 15 and 20 tickets.  I prefer to do input based breakouts this way so students spend the time getting the input, then trying to solve the puzzles.  It took my kids more than an hour and half to break out.  But they all told me that it was not "too hard".
3) I ask that students read all the "chapters" together, out loud, before working on the puzzles.  This keeps the focus on the input.
4) I probably would not do this as my first breakout with a group.  For an introductory breakout, I suggest you use Vamos a Bolivia.

Note: I run my breakouts with 1 box. 
Here is how I do it:

  • Prepare group folders with all materials, including hint cards and UV light pens.  This is super time consuming, but I think it is worth the trouble. 
  • Assign kids to heterogenous groups  I aim for 4-6 kids in a group.  
  • Give each group a team tracking sheet and a certain number of tickets or stickers.  One ticket = 1 minute with each lock, until the last day (or last 15 minutes), when it is 1 ticket=30 seconds with each lock.
  • I have a master sheet that I use to track who opened what lock and I use tally marks to keep track of their tickets.
  • When a group opens all the locks, they...hang out.  I ask them to read or work on illustrating stories for our library until most of the other groups have finished or have come closer to finishing.  THEN they get the glory of opening the locks in front of everyone.  

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