What is an escape room?

Escape rooms are fun, team building activities that all students will love! They provide integrative, team building activities for students of all mathematical levels. Escape rooms utilize Woot Math’s peer-to-peer tool, Math Jam, which provides a shared workspace, collaboration tools, and optional audio and video.
Students will…
  • Work together collaboratively
  • Solve multi-level puzzles using logic and math skills
  • Push their thinking by approaching the puzzles using multiple strategies
  • Explore exciting storylines that transform the classroom
Teachers will…
  • Foster collaborative thinking
  • Encourage students to push their typical mathematical ideas
  • Keep the escape room moving at a steady pace
  • Differentiate between skill levels
Each escape room will take around 6 hours of class time to complete, although you can easily adjust the duration to meet your needs.

Ready to try one?

Open this preview of a special Spy Escape and save it to your content.

ESCAPE ROOMS for grades 3-6

Apprentice Wizard

The owl didn’t bring your letter again this year? That doesn’t mean you won’t be a wizard one day. Unravel the riddles of the magic wand and you might find an owl on your windowsill yet.
Grades 3-6

Break the Code!

Archeologists suspect a code is buried within hieroglyphics extracted from a pyramid in Egypt, but cannot make sense of it. Your team has been brought in to decipher it. Can you break the code?
Grades 3-6

Spy Escape!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it. Decipher the clues, analyze the data, and solve the mystery. Then get out without being captured. P.S. Bring your math skills.
Grades 3-6

Treasure Hunt

When “x” marks the spot and is also the solution to an equation, it can only mean one thing: pirate treasure. Solve the clues to find the treasure, fend off rival pirates, and save the day!
Grades 3-6

ESCAPE ROOMS for grades 6-9

Spy Escape!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it. Decipher the clues, analyze the data, and solve the mystery. Then get out without being captured. P.S. Bring your math skills.
Ages 11-14

Treasure & Skulls

When “x” marks the spot and is also the solution to a system of equations, it can only mean one thing: pirate treasure. Solve the clues to find the treasure, fend off rival pirates, and save the day!
Ages 11-14

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Why would I use an escape room?

Escape rooms are a fun, engaging way to talk about math in different ways than students might be used to. They encourage students to use logic and mathematical thinking, and encourage conversations between students.

Escape rooms are useful to bridge the gap between your high needs students and advanced students. The activities in the escape rooms are “low floor, high ceiling”, meaning that regardless of knowledge every student has something to contribute – whether it’s a question, an idea, or a first step!

When would I use an escape room?

Escape rooms can be integrated into your classroom in any way you want! Here are a few ways in which other teachers have implemented them.
  • Every Wednesday to break up the week
  • Full class activities in the beginning of the year to encourage student bonding
  • On a “block” schedule, a day can be designated for escape rooms
    – Students will look forward and be asking to do it every day!

FAQ

How do I introduce this to my class?
Each escape room starts with classroom norms, introductory games, and a “how to use the tools” walk-through before it jumps into the escape room.
How do I prepare beforehand?
Review the guide and the provided answers and hints. We strongly suggest you attempt the puzzles so you are familiar with the type of thinking your students will be doing.
You can also give your students experience with these types of puzzles by incorporating them in your daily warm ups or exit tickets.
How many days/classes should this take?
This is completely up to you! The full escape room will typically take around 6 hours of classroom time. Since the escape room is provided as a single activity, you can start/stop it as it fits in your schedule. Just remember where you left off so you can pick it up the next time.
You can dedicate an entire week, a block day each week, or even each semester, to break it up! The beauty of the escape room is you receive the entire room in one slide deck and can pace as you please.
What if my students are going too slow or too fast?
Each escape room user guide comes with both answers and hints. If students are getting stuck, or moving slower than you’d hope, you can provide them hints or guidance. On the other hand, when students are moving quickly, encourage them to think of multiple ways to solve the problem and explain each other’s thinking.
Some escape rooms also come with additional puzzle levels to act as extension problems.
How do I differentiate between my higher and lower students?
The escape rooms are designed for all levels of students. There are many ways to encourage higher thinking, both in regard to the puzzles as well as for student-to-student interactions. There are hints, extra content and background information you can provide to students who are struggling.
How many students can participate?
Eight or fewer students is ideal, though there are no technical limits to the number of students that can join.
Do all students in the escape room participate?
Yes! All students should be working together through the puzzles as they are presented to them. If students are finishing early, you can push them to find new ways to solve the problems or team them with a struggling student to support.
One strategy you could use is to rotate roles. For example, each slide a different student can read the instructions, and another student might be in charge of moving the pieces (soliciting feedback from their peers of course).
Does every student need a device?
Every student can have their own device (computer or tablet). You can also team students up in small groups (2-4) and have them work together. Or, you can split the class in half and have them compete against each other, or even use the escape rooms for whole group instruction and have the class work together as one team.
What if students are being disruptive to the online setting?
The teacher controls in Math Jam allow you to mute a student, disable their video, or even remove them from the session if they are being disruptive to the class.
What if a student cannot see or hear the instructor?
Technical issues can usually be fixed by having the student reload their page. If that doesn’t work, have the students restart their computer and sign back in. Also make sure they are not running any other windows or video chat programs, as this can cause conflicts around which application has access to the video camera and/or microphone.