Lesson plan from @MattGusto’s Algebra @BreakoutEdu game at @The_School! #mathchat

It was so much fun planning a mini BreakdoutEdu game with Matt Guastavino (@MattGusto) and Arana Shapiro (@aranalee) for today’s Algebra class! Pics from our activity are above. Below is the plan (including the clues) that Matt, Arana, and I designed for the lesson. Now the students will spend two days working in groups to make their own games for each other and for next year’s classes.

  1. Matt introduced the activity by saying he had two boxes (virtual boxes) dropped off for him this morning. One box opened with a 3-digit combination and one opened with a 6-letter combination.Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 10.08.26 AM
  2. Matt said all he had were the boxes and a QR code he projected on the board. He could have printed out the code and taped it to the wall, but every now and then we like to save paper.Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 10.08.06 AM
  3. Some students offered to scan the QR code using their phones, but we didn’t want the distraction, so we provided a few iPads. The code took them to a YouTube video of a performance of John Cage’s 4’33”Students were able to quickly figure out that 433 was the combination of the first box.
  4. Matt pulled out 6 envelopes and quipped how he found them inside the virtual box with the virtual lock. Students separated into groups of three and solved word problems which incorporated digits of important years from their 8th grade curriculum. The problems are in the slides below…
  5. Once a group solved their word problem, they were presented with another envelope. This one contained a number and an image of “hello” written with digits on a calculator from the image below.calculator_hello It took them a while to figure out that the 6 digits of their clues (3-7-9-0-0-9) could be similarly arranged and plugged into an older calculator to spell out G-O-O-G-L-E. IMG_5178
  6. Matt “opened” the combination lock and revealed a bag of Starburst. Everyone chewed happily while we deconstructed the puzzles and the solutions. Matt then split up the class into groups, presented them with a list of Algebra concepts studied during the year, and asked them to design their own BreakoutEdu games. He used the following instructions…For this project, you will work with a small group to design a breakout game similar to the one we did in class. Your game must include the following:
    • An objective – What are you trying to break out of/into? What is your ultimate goal?
    • At least 5 unique puzzles.
      • At least 3 of these must include algebra problems. See below for a list of topics.

    Grading this project:

    • Objective is clear and obtainable – 5 points
    • Required puzzles are included, directions are clear, and the puzzles are solvable – 50 points
    • Puzzles all help to achieve the objective – 45 points


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