“Escape rooms are a popular leisure-time activity to do with family and friends, and I participated in my first escape room experience last summer,” Newcomb said said in a news release.
“I witnessed firsthand how much problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration go into a successful escape, and I thought this would be a fun, engaging activity for our thinkers here at Chelsea.”
Newcomb said she hopes that students learn from the real-life examples of growth mindset included in the escape room, as well as the opportunity to sharpen problem-solving and collaboration skills.
Another educational aspect of the activity is that it allows students to strategize and decide how to solve the puzzles before them. They may work as a full group of four or split into two pairs.
“So far, the response has been very positive,” Newcomb said of the escape room. “Several students have asked if we can do another escape room next quarter. Others have commented on how much fun they had during the activity.”
Learning to have a growth mindset is an essential part of the educational experience for intermediate school students because of the increased academic expectations they face, Newcomb said.
A growth mindset can help students understand that setbacks and mistakes are part of the learning process and are not a reason to give up.
“It is important that students are able to face academic challenges with perseverance and a positive attitude,” she said.
In addition to the escape room activity, each teacher at Chelsea provides learning opportunities around growth mindset, and all students have attended two Tiger Talks on the concept.
The first focused on the differences between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset, goal-setting and positive-self talk, and the second focused on the concept of grit or determination. Chelsea also defines GRIT as an acronym for “Give it your all,” “Redo if necessary,” “Ignore giving up,” and “Take time to do it right.”
“We take pride in providing these opportunities,” Principal Doug Wernet said in a news release. “Ms. Newcomb went above and beyond to create an enriching activity that is fun and engaging while teaching important lessons at the same time. Ms. Newcomb’s escape room started with a small idea and grew into an awesome event that students loved.
“I am thankful she has the passion for our kids that forced her to work out all the kinks in the activity to ensure that it happened. Our kids reaped the benefits.”