Guest blog by Jodi Roper and Lisa Watson, 2nd-grade team teachers from Martha Reid Leadership Academy in Mansfield ISD.
Have you ever been so excited for your students to get to class? This was our feeling a few weeks ago. We had transformed the room into a huge pirate ship and had pirated themed activities to engage our students. We were about to take them on an adventure they would definitely remember.
Students came dressed in their best pirate attire. We had eye patches, pirate hats, and jewels for each student. We decided that this go around each room would be an escape room. In math, we reviewed concepts and reinforced skills that were difficult for them. They had to escape to find the treasure, gold chocolate coins. Reading was an escape room to work on their reading comprehension. They were on a mission to find the pirate booty, popcorn. These missions were all pirate based which allowed students to use pirate accents and words, some of them stayed in character all day long. They loved it. We used jewels and gold coins for incentives for teams working together and awesome behavior. Having something that the students can earn has helped throughout every transformation with behavior.
We chose to do an escape room to reinforce skills and the use of the 7 habits. We teach at a leadership academy where we follow Stephen Covey’s 7 habits. The students were able to use the habits to accomplish these missions. The students do a great job of relating the habits to work and during these missions it was prevalent.
Stephen Covey said, “to achieve goals you have never achieved before, you need to start doing things you have never done before.” This year was our first time to do transformations. It was a thrilling experience that we can’t wait to take further. We were able to review skills while engaging our students in adventures beyond the classroom. This was our last transformation of the year and we can’t wait until we start planning the next.