Amazing. Unbelievable. Engaging. Collaborative. Energetic. FUN.
These words quickly come to mind when reflecting about my scholar’s first experience with a QR code scavenger hunt. The level of teamwork, engagement, and enthusiasm circulating my learning laboratory during this lesson was outrageous. As you can probably tell, I will be doing this again.
Below I will explain how I conducted this scavenger hunt. There are multiple ways to complete it, so feel free to do what’s best for your style. The first step was to create a free WordPress page to house all the clues. The web address I chose was mrsapiaqrcodes.wordpress.com. I chose a DOT WordPress because I am very familiar with the platform because I use it for my classroom website, as well as my personal reflective blog, and because it’s free. However, there are many other free and easy to use platforms on the web to choose from.
Next, I created a new post for each of my clues. After publishing the post and copying the link, I then navigated over to QR Stuff to paste my link and download the actual code. I repeated this process 10 times for a total of 10 clues. All in all, this process took about 20 minutes, so it wasn’t too laborious.
I then printed the QR codes and hid them around the classroom for students to find. For the first few clues, I had 5 QR codes printed out to avoid a traffic jam. As the clue numbers got higher, I had 3 QR codes for each clue. Students were encouraged to scan the code and move aside to solve with their partners. On each QR code, I labeled the number of the clue. Students were expected to go in numeral order. Additionally, students had to have the correct answer prior to moving to the next clue.
Students were placed heterogeneous groups of 3, with two groups with 4 in each. This was done because I only had access to 6 iPads at the time. Yes, iPads or any other mobile device with a QR code app is very necessary, obviously. I used i-nigma.
Academic Area Focus:
I chose to focus on math for my academic area, although you can align it in any subject area. I have recently administered our mid-year math exam and I created questions based on the student’s needs. I know we live in a “data-driven” world these days, but it’s very important to ensure that you’re using data to drive your focus and implement technology purposefully for a lesson like this.
Here is a link to the questions I created.
Put on some music and play it loud. I played “Eye of the Tiger” to get the kids pumped, and released them into the laboratory. The next musical choices were Kid Bop songs on Spotify. It was pretty awesome to see them grooving and dancing, while solving the math problems!
I walked around the classroom and monitored their progress and gave them clues, but did not provide the answers. That was their responsibility as a learner and as a team. It was also really fantastic to see students spontaneously using our Idea Paint walls to solve problems. Slowly groups started to finish. Most teams were finished in about 30 minutes. (Side note, be sure to have an activity planned for the fast finishers.)
Prior to the scavenger hunt beginning, we had a discussion regarding expectations of behavior and being a good sport. This type of appreciation in constantly instilled in my classroom, so for the most part, students did rise to the occasion and were both responsible and respectful.
Thinking about what I can improve on for the next time, I would do the following:
- Have an answer key printed out so I don’t hold up any groups from moving on
- Hide the QR code clues a little better
- Expand the hunt beyond my four classroom walls, without disturbing other classes
- Have students become content creators and create QR code questions!!!
I also had a meeting to debrief with my scholars about the lesson to hear about what they thought went well, and what could be improved. They had the same suggestions as the ones above. Be sure to involve students and listen to their voices, because the feedback and suggestions they provide can be extremely valuable to the overall learning experience.
I will elated about how this process went. Check out the photos below and the Instagram video. As always, if you have any questions or feedback, I’d greatly appreciate it. If you’ve made it this far, feel free to follow me on Twitter @mrsapia_teach