The fifth grade Escape Room involved a heavy dose of critical thinking as students were tasked to solve a series of puzzles, complex math problems and riddles using clues and codes to complete an objective. In this case, after fifth graders had studied Ancient Mesopotamia, there was unexpected flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and students were charged with the challenge to escape their village (known as the Alumni Room) and flee to a nearby city of higher elevation (our safe classroom.) Students were given are given a set time limit to complete the challenges and escape to the safety of their classroom.

“The stage was set with an intense news report of impending storms and a time constraint of 60 minutes to escape the doom of rising flood waters,” says Mrs. Bell as she explained the challenge for the video above. “With fury, students entered the Alumni room, our classroom door locking behind them, to find mysterious containers with locks of two varieties – combination locks and key locks, and only vague clues to lead them. To successfully escape the room, students were required to use critical thinking skills, logic, reasoning, teamwork, and patience. With only two opportunities to gain clues from me, students worked through content-based math problems, riddles, code cyphers, puzzles, and encrypted messages to find the combinations and codes that ultimately led them to finding their only means of finding safety – our classroom key hanging from the well-known Powhatan-blue lanyard.”

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Students earned this Escape Room experience by earning 2,000 points on Class Dojo for excellent representation of the five pillars of our mission:

Excellence
Civility
Integrity
Respect
Service

“At the beginning of the year, students developed a list of ways that they could earn points on Class Dojo – a virtual toolkit that promotes positive reinforcement for students’ behavior and work habits,” continues Mrs. Bell. Some ways they can earn points include: helping others, being on task, managing time wisely, using manners, demonstrating positive teamwork, and maintaining a positive attitude when situations get challenging. Using Class Dojo has been a positive way for us to develop and maintain a strong sense of community in our classroom. While students can track their own personal points earned and spend them in our unique Class Dojo Store, the class as a whole collect points that can be applied for a group reward! This trimester their goal was 2,000 points, granting them the reward of the Escape Room experience.”