Digital Escape Rooms for Math: Collaboration and Personalization
I love teaching math to my seventh years. Finding the volume of rectangular prisms and solving linear expressions is exciting and fascinating (I can almost hear my students roll my eyes). In particular, I enjoy my everyday classes as I feel like they offer easy access to content and ample opportunity to practice (I can now hear the excitement radiating). Although I enjoy my well-oiled routine, I like to spice up my math class with escape rooms, Digital Escape rooms. Digital escape rooms offer students the opportunity to challenge themselves, review, compete, and a more exciting way to to do Mathematics.
Set up digital escape rooms
My favorite escape rooms have a tidy Google form that students type their answers into and seamlessly complete various challenges. Students need to work together to solve the problem and then follow the directions to crack the code. I like this aspect of Escape Rooms because it adds a bit of flair. Instead of solving problems and entering answers, students have to decipher a message / solve a puzzle in order to solve the puzzle. Escape rooms encourage collaboration and communication when they are played by students in teams.
While we were still doing distance learning (and because I am more of an introvert myself and prefer to work alone), I offered the opportunity to work independently to “escape” or to work in a small group. To allay the fear of racing against the clock while promoting the spirit of competition, I invited students to compete against each other or work through at their own pace. Voila! Unintentional personalization, all thanks to Escape Rooms. Escape rooms are not only a nice change, they can also be a formative tool for me. I can see the results on the form and make informed decisions about how to proceed with our class progress.
Use of existing escape rooms
Granted, I wish I had more time or resources to design escape rooms from scratch. If you have the courage and the energy to do it Create your own escape room, more power to you. When you feel Really ambitious, check out this one Escape room accessories. I often find excellent escape rooms Teachers pay teachers. I use them to prepare for assessments or as a mid-term exam as we progress through a chapter. Teachers pay teachers has a wide variety of escape rooms both on paper and digital (totally worth a few dollars). During distance learning, I used digital versions, created breakout rooms with Google Meets, divided the kids into teams and let them run to be the first to “escape”.
Whether you are preparing for a number system benchmark by Adding and subtracting whole numbers, Verification Order of operations before you solve expressions, or are ready to have some rowdy fun end of year, Escape Rooms are sure to be a crowd puller (just sit back and watch the magic happen).