If you have never planned an educational escape room with your elementary students, why not try one this Halloween? You will find that the students are all engaged, excited to learn while solving clues and discover how to work as a team without a lot of direction from you. It takes about 45 minutes to set up the materials. This Return the Pumpkin Escape Room Mystery is designed with your K-2 students in mind! The download is editable so you can tailor it to your needs, or just print and go!
Hook Them Early
First, a video story creates a “hook” for engaging the students in the mystery right off the bat! Students will have to find their classroom pumpkin that Willie the Werewolf stolen. The video is only a few minutes long. The video will tell you to press play so you can read the first clue, but then you can press play to have some background mystery music while the kids use teamwork to solve the mystery and open a box to escape the classroom!
Each escape room provides 3 clues for students to solve. The average time for them to be able to beat the clock is 40 minutes. This classroom escape room has students finding bags of letters to form words. Students are encouraged to help each other. Not just their own team, but the other team too because they can’t open the box without both keys. Paper keys provided, so no need to buy real locks.
Once student solve all three clues, they will find the missing class pumpkin, receive a prize from the box and escape the classroom to a monster dance party, recess or the library. You get to choose!
Check out The Magical Teacher using the Halloween Escape Room in her classroom! She shows you how to add that special teacher magic that only a great teacher can bring to get maximum engagement!
Why use escape rooms in the classroom?
Break OUT rooms or Escape Rooms encourage teamwork, academic skills, problem solving and require students to listen while following directions. Then there is also the incredible engagement aspect it provides. This is why many teachers like to use them for their evaluations.
☀️ Escape Room Sight Word Mystery Video Tutorial
Having a consistent morning routine will help students to begin their day knowing what is expected before they get to school. There should be a morning greeting at the door. This will dissolve any anxiety a student may feel in the morning about entering your classroom. I had two morning routines in kindergarten that lasted a week to keep them from getting bored. One week they would work in morning journals that reviewed concepts learned during the week. Then the next week, there would be hands-on manipulatives for students to practice math skills. Something simple for them to pick up and do on their own, like puzzles or tangrams. Positive morning routines will help set the tone for the whole day.
When students have a regular routine, several things happen:
1. Students feel safer and happier when regular routines are established in their lives.
2. Their learning improves.
3. Students develop independence, so it makes it easier for you to help other struggling students.
The next questions that many teachers have is “What should I have them do in the morning when they stagger in at different times?”
There is no absolute answer to this question, but here are a few ideas:
- Use a composition book for students to draw or write about choice topics each morning for a week. Then, slowly get them ready for writing on topics you choose that lead to them sharing their opinions.
- Let students work in morning work themed journals that review math and literacy skills.
- Here is a link to a Kindergarten Morning Work Freebie.
- Let student take care of personal business, like talking to classmates, putting items away, going to the bathroom, reading book and maybe placing their lunch tag on an appropriate chart.
- Provide daily writing prompts for students in a journal to make it easy to grade and store.
Easy enough? You’ve got this! Feel free to email me back and let me know if you have any questions.
Grab the Writing Prompts FREEBIE – FREE Writing Prompts K-3
Related Product : Writing Prompts for the YEAR K-3
ROI = Return on Investment
What does this mean for a teacher? We need to invest time and energy into where we will get the biggest return. Even though bulletin boards, fancy décor, and homework packets are great, they are not where you will get the maximum for student achievement. I’m not saying don’t do them. I’m saying spend less time on activities that don’t reach the highest academic achievement. So instead of spending two hours on personalizing cubbies, spend 30 minutes. Then, spend an hour and a half on planning for your small group activities.
Another great area to invest your valuable teaching time is in building relationships with your parents. Having a consistent communication with parents should be a priority. A strong relationship with parents will help you have a successful school year. Now with technology at your fingertips it is easier than ever! Using Class Dojo or Remind to send text messages or pictures is a great way to keep in touch with busy parents. Weekly newsletters are perfect for not only letting parents know about their child’s week, but help you get materials into your classroom for future lessons! Scroll down for a FREE Editable Newsletter Template!
When parents communicate:
1. Students feel like their parents are invested in education.
2. Reinforcement of class skills are increased.
3. Parent involvement improves.
The next questions that many teachers have is “What if I have a parent who never reads my communication?”
Don’t give up! Here are a few ideas:
• Send electronic and paper versions of your communication home.
• Ask the student to remind the parent to look at your communication.
• Pick up the phone and call them to let them know how valuable communication will be in the future.
You’ve got this! Feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you have any questions.
Grab the FREE Newsletter Template HERE
Related Product : Behavior Chart (Editable)
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