Algebra II students unlock algebra problems
Algebra II students unlock algebra problems
Posted on 01/30/2018
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photoAlgebra II students at Danville High School were racing against time and working together to solve equations in order to open a series of locks.

Beth Goode, math teacher, planned the lesson to teach quadratic equations in algebra, however, this activity also promoted other important skills such as teamwork, critical thinking and communication.

“I try to do an activity every week with my students,” said Goode.

photoThis week she chose to do an activity using Breakout EDU, a hands-on activity that requires her students to apply the knowledge they have gained in class about the quadratic formula. The goal of the activity is to find clues and use hints to open the locked box.

During the breakout activity students are challenged to solve quadratic equations using factoring, competing the square, graphing or the quadratic formula.

To put together the Breakout EDU challenge Goode enlisted Danville High School library media specialist Cassie Dickison.

“The students work in small teams to complete the challenges using their subject content to decipher codes, solve puzzles and unlock boxes,” said Dickison. “Teachers can choose from hundreds of lessons available free online or they can create their own.”

Mrs. Dickison purchased the Breakout EDU kits as a resource for teachers earlier this school year.

To create a friendly competition, Goode and Dickison divided the students into two groups. The group that unlocked all three boxes the quickest won bragging rights.

Throughout the challenge, students were up and out of their seats, engaging with the content in fun and collaborative ways.  At one point, students solved math problems to reveal a combination to a lock, which unlocked a boxed that housed an ultraviolet flashlight. Students then used the ultraviolet flashlight to reveal hidden codes on a paper to unlock the next lock.

The series of challenges build on what the students are learning in class. 

With one minute and twenty-four seconds left in the challenge one group’s algebra knowledge helped them escape Breakout EDU.

As the group celebrated their victory one participant, senior Chris Miller, said, "I wouldn’t have been able to do it by myself.”