Math Escapes : Escape Room Style Activities in the Middle School Math Classroom

Math Escapes : Escape Room Style Activities in the Middle School Math Classroom

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Why Escape Activities? 

Escape rooms are so popular because they require people to work together to solve problems. It is so important for students to learn to work together to solve different mathematical and logical problems. It encourages them to listen to each other, try different ideas and work hard.The amazing thing about bringing escape room style activities to the classroom is that there are so many options. They can be used with any skill, in any subject area.

I’m going to dig into this 6th Grade Math End of Year Escape to show how this type of activity could become a fun addition to your classroom.Math Escapes

What makes this escape activity different? 
This activity does not require the challenges to be completed in any particular order. In order for students to “escape” they simply have to find all 8 codes. This allows for (a) differentiation, (b) removal of challenges for time and (c) the ability for you to only make one copy of each challenge because as groups finish one challenge their next one can be whatever is available.

This escape room is NOT…
Even though this is an “End of Year” escape it is not a comprehensive, complete review of all the 6th grade standards. Math escapes do focus on content but the primary focus is on the collaboration and the problem solving. This activity should not be used for a year end test review but should be used as a fun way to wrap up the year or an engaging way to start 7th grade by reviewing old skills!

Is there a lot of work involved for the teacher? 
I’m not going to lie, escape activities are not print and go resources for sure. They require prep on behalf of the teacher but they are guaranteed to get your students engaged. Take a look at this video if you want to peek inside the 6th Grade End of Year Math Escape. I go over all of the prep needed in detail. It is a 30 minute video so you’ll need time to get through it all!

What materials are needed? 
Here’s the great thing – you don’t technically need ANY materials. WHAT? Other than paper and typical classroom materials (glue stick, scissors, a ruler), manila folders, a metal paper fastener/brad and a mirror, you aren’t required to have anything else.

There are three ways to “escape”. The first TWO ways involve only the materials listed above. Students can either check their codes by themselves using a digital lock (a Google Drive file) or by having you check their code. It is as simple as that!

The third method does include a lock box, lockout hasp and a variety of different locks (four 4 digit, two 3 digit and two alpha) that require materials but once you purchase them, you can reuse them over and over again.

What activities are used in Math Escapes? 
The activity options are almost endless! Any skill can be turned into an escape style activity as long as the answer(s) can somehow be converted to a code. This is possible using ciphers, decoders, etc. or simple letter/number coordination.

Students can put together puzzles, complete worksheets, decipher messages, complete word searches or crossword puzzles, color by number, etc. There really are SO many different opportunities.

If you wish to create an escape style activity for your class and you want one challenge to lead to another you’ll need to make sure the code from one challenge somehow leads students to the next. The Math Escapes I have created do not have linking challenges so they can be used without worrying about having to complete all challenges or complete them in a specific order.

Take a peek
This short video takes you inside my 6th Grade End of Year Math Escape so you can get an idea of the types of resources that are included.


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Lindsay

My name is Lindsay

My goal is to help math teachers bring their students out of the math textbook and into a hands on, interactive and fun learning environment.

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