Since that first activity I have released 10 more with multiple variations on each of them. There are also a few available in French as well!
From a creation standpoint Breakout! Desmos has been invaluable to my lesson creation. Things like the streak counter, screen locks, unique animations, graph interactions, and even algorithm simplification that I used in real lessons all began here in breakout. However, it was the popularity of the activities for use in the classroom that caught me off guard. To make a long story short people started using them!
This led me to question the quality of the activities themselves. I have always stressed that these lessons were designed for fun, but I have seen examples of any teachers using them as review or introduction activities. This prompts me to think back to the Desmos Building Principles and how I can address them in these activities. How can I create conversation, ask for informal analysis, delay feedback, and allow students to be right and wrong in different and interesting ways? I spoke with several teachers and a few things came out as successful strategies to implement a breakout! activity:
1) Have students work in groups
2) "Randomize" or mix up groups to make students work with others they are less comfortable with
3) Most importantly, use pause and pacing to encourage discourse in the classroom.
Some teachers like @pejorgens are AMAZING at class discourse, but what about the rest of us? Here's where I need your help, #MTBoS. What can we do to make these activities that began just as an exercise in CL into GREAT ACTIVITIES? More support for teachers via guides and webinars? Templates or complementary activities to collect student reflections? Alternate forms of these activities that include more reflective questions? What about follow up activities that provide a better student experience than what is given in these breakout activities?
I also have another request... Whats stopping us from bringing these activities out of the screen?