Why Shouldn’t Math Class be as Fun as Math Club?

What to do on the last day before Thanksgiving break? How about a Breakout Game? Our students enjoyed this a lot, and the content was just challenging enough!

Escape from the Castle

This activity comes from the nrich website — a wonderful compilation of investigations, puzzles and activities with depth. This activity is at:


This activity needs dice for room #1.

The only thing we did before the activity was to cut out circles. Circles

We asked students to cut out one circle, then find the center of the circle. (We let them figure out that you can do this by folding the circle twice). Then we asked whether they knew the terms — “line across the circle, going through the middle?” (Diameter). “Halfway across?” (radius). We told them to keep the circles on their desk until room #3.

The answers are online, but here are some photos:



Students solved this by cutting their circle in half. Since they knew it fit in a rectangle of 5 x 9, they knew the diameter was 5 and the radius 2.5.

By pulling the 2 halves apart they could see that the 2 half-circles were 2.5 on each side of the rectangle, leaving a distance of FOUR in the middle (between the 2 circles).


In room #4, many students cut up small pieces of paper, labeled them 1 through 8, and moved them around until each side added to 15.

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 8.22.26 AM.pngIMG_0203

The last room was surprisingly easy (or the kids were in shape by then?) IMG_0208