Your students will complete six different back-to-school challenges (or obstacles) in order to fix the back-to-school mix-up in this "Back to School Mix-Up" Escape Room-style activity. They'll crack codes and work together as a team, ultimately overcoming the obstacles and fixing the mix-up!
Will you be able to fix this back-to-school mix-up?
Ideas for Use
- Use the individual tasks as part of your math centers. Place one task at each center and have students rotate through them.
- Make a booklet for each student that includes all the tasks from this math project. Allow your students to choose the order that they complete the tasks, and use it as early finisher activities or morning work.
- Keep students engaged by allowing them to work through this package with a partner.
DIGITAL VERSION INCLUDED! The digital version of this escape room uses Google Forms™. This provides you with the option to use this escape room for distance learning, or even on devices in the classroom.
This escape room includes modified activities for two of the obstacles.
If you are using this escape room with second-grade students, use the modified activities. Still, most second graders will need help with reading instructions and with the codes if they have never done this type of activity before. There are a few ways to help scaffold for younger students:
•Have a parent volunteer or classroom assistant work with individual groups.
•Have the students work in small groups, but complete the obstacles at the same time. Before switching to another obstacle, the teacher can read instructions and give a brief overview of how to complete the activity.
•If you think that your students are ready to do this escape room independently, do some pre-teaching before you begin to explain the code-breaking activities.
Your students will be completing six different challenges (or obstacles) in order to fix the mix-up.
Obstacle #1: FIGURE OUT WHAT THE TEACHER IS SAYING
You walk into the school on the first day excited to be there! First you see the principal and she says something to you, but it’s hard to understand. She must be mumbling. Then you see your teacher. You run over to him to say hello and he begins talking to you in some strange language. Then you notice that EVERYONE is talking in the same language. What is going on? You are so confused!
: Figure out what the teacher is saying to you.
Obstacle #2: FIX THE MIXED-UP MAP
Alright! You are pretty sure that Mr. Smith told you to go to the library. As soon as you walk through the library door you notice something. The map on the wall is completely wrong! South America is above North America, Africa and Australia are mixed up, and the oceans are completely wrong! You try to tell the librarian, but she doesn’t seem to think that there is anything wrong. Why doesn’t anyone see this?
: Put the puzzle together. Solve the equations in order to figure out the message.
Obstacle #3: DECODE THE CLASSROOM MESSAGE
The message on the map said to find the Mix-Up Machine! This must be how everything got so mixed up! You need to find this machine…FAST! You go to your classroom to see if you can find some clues about where this machine might be. You notice some papers on the table. Maybe this is a clue!
: Count by 5’s to put the paper strips in order. Then decode the message.
Obstacle #4: GET INSIDE THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE
The Mix Up Machine is under the principal’s desk! Now you just need to get inside the principal’s office without anyone seeing you. This secret mission is tougher than you thought! You wait for the perfect moment. As soon as you see the principal leave her office, you run to the door and turn the handle. It’s locked! You’ll have to figure out the secret code word to open the door and get inside.
: Figure out the secret code word to open the office door.
Obstacle #5: FIND THE MIX-UP MACHINE
You get into the principal’s office and look under her desk. You see the Mix Up Machine! Just as you are about to press the STOP button, something catches your eye. It’s a note, but it’s hard to understand because the words are all backward and mixed up. You better figure out what this note says just in case it’s important.
: Order the papers from least to greatest (smallest to largest). This will reveal what the note says.
Obstacle #6: STOP THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL MIX-UP
You’ll need to press the button five times and then you can stop this back-to-school mix-up! You find the red button and try to push it, but it looks like you’ll need to figure out a code first. You work quickly to figure it out. Let’s stop this mix-up!
: Use the 100 Chart to figure out what the symbols mean. Then use the symbols to fill in the number code.
What Teachers Are Saying
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "This was a super fun back to school activity. I used in in groups and had them work together to solve each part of the escape room. The students had a great time!" Lorelle A.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "I used this Escape Room at the beginning of the school year. I had my students in groups of three, which seems to be the perfect size to keep all the students in the group engaged in each obstacle. It was an excellent way for the students to get to know each other and to work on their collaborating skills, while also refreshing their math skills from last year." Carla S.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "I used this for the first week of school where we had rotating classes of grades 4-7. Everyone was VERY engaged except my very low 4s. It was a hit! I'm going to try to find something similar from Shelley Gray next year." Patricia K.