Breakout Valentine Review

My second attempt at reviewing with a Breakout review activity had a Valentine theme and it went very well.  (See my first Breakout review activity HERE.)  It was very gratifying to see the excitement on the students’ faces when they saw the bags and the locks and realized that we were doing another Breakout activity.

This chapter was mostly vocabulary (that is, not much math:) so I put the review questions in a Google form.  I broke the form into sections.  Students received a clue after completing each section.  The first 3 clues were used to open the first lock, a 5 digit combination lock.  The next lock needed a key.  The key was hidden in a magnetic holder with a combination lock.  The holder was hidden under a desk and the clues for the 3 digit combination were provided after completing two more sections of the Google form.  As students searched for the magnetic holder (they did not know exactly what they were looking for), I told them to “be cool” and not to say anything when they found it so that other groups would not see where it was hidden.

They worked together on chrome books to complete the  questions in the Google form. Completion times were recorded and students were rewarded with a small Valentine treat.


Now for some logistical explanations.  I have 3 classes and run 3 groups in each class with 6-7 students in each group.  All 9 groups are in competition for AP Coins (Gamification), so they are encouraged not to tip off the other classes.

I like to use the same set up for each group, but with different combinations.  But it can be difficult and confusing to keep track of which combination goes with which group/lock.  So I used the same digits for each group, just in different orders.  For example, for the 5 digit lock, all groups received the clues 77, 77 and 2.  But there were 3 different combinations, 72777, 77277 and 77727.  Likewise for the 3 digit combination lock, all groups received the digits 3, 5 and 8.  But the locks all had different combinations using those 3 digits.  And finally, for the locks with the keys, I had just bought them specifically for this activity ($1 each at the local Dollar Tree).  I was delighted to open them and discover THREE keys for each lock.  That meant that I could just put one of each key into  each group’s setup.  So no matter which lock they had, the correct key was there.

Our next chapter is probability and the next holiday is St. Patrick’s.  Time to get to planning 🙂

To see more Breakout games for all levels and subjects, go to

If you like this or if you have any suggestions or variations, please comment below. 🙂
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  1. Hi Penny. Thanks for posting your first two breakouts. I am in a 2-day Breakout EDU session in New York and am interested in a probability activity for my AP Stats class. Did you get your activity/review up and running this past year?


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