Darkness, illuminated only by flashlights, is not what you would typically expect when entering an Algebra 2 class. But this was the relevant setting for Mr. Chad Meredith’s innovative math lesson, Linear Equations Escape Room. Mr. Meredith definitely put on his creative hat and found a fanatsic new approach to Algebra 2’s Unit 2 – Linear Functions. Entering the classroom, it was obvious that each and every student was engaged, working in his or her respective group to crack codes by solving linear equations. Mr. Meredith, who is the chairperson of the Math Department at Swansea High School, shared that this unique lesson was birthed in an effort to step away from the monotony of a traditional daily structure; he also noted that he is simply a fan of escape rooms. Mr. Meredith was successful in creating an environment that was different; the students were given permision to use the lights from their cell phones to navigate the darkened classroom, which added to the exciting togetherness of the activity. Mr. Meredith notes that while some groups had a difficult time figuring out the cipher, it was a joy to see them all making a bonafide effort. The level of student engagement was satifying as the students participated in intellectual and focused conversations and intelligently asked questions when they needed to do so.
The Linear Equations Escape Room lesson addressed six Algebra 2 standards and facilitated students developing a number of world-class skills including creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and teamwork, as well as, communication. Mr. Meredith highlighted that implementing this lesson in this way, resulted in students maintaining a high level of engagement for a longer period of time. The students enjoyed a different approach to learning math. Kudos to Mr. Meredith and his innovative and stellar efforts toward enhancing teaching and learning in his math classes; this was a great way to Rise Up Higher.