During my practicum in a grade 8 classroom, my associate teacher shared various techniques for increasing student engagement during math problem-solving. One such technique allowed students to use their own devices to scan QR codes that were posted around the classroom and hallways. By scanning the QR codes, students were able to access multiple different questions and work through them at their own pace. The order of the questions didn’t matter, so students (working in pairs) could disperse and travel freely to the question locations.
While they were working on solving math problems, the simple act of getting students out of their desks and moving between different locations kept them engaged and motivated to work diligently with their partner. *Side note: this class was used to working with visually random groupings, and we often used playing cards to determine groups of 2, 3, or 4 for different activities.
This “QR Code Treasure Hunt” functioned best when guidelines were clearly communicated to students before the activity began. For instance, consider the following:
- Devices to be used (classroom devices? student devices?)
- Availability of QR code reader (app already downloaded on devices?)
- Groupings (individual? pairs? small groups? visually random groupings?)
- Range in difficulty of questions (simple to increasingly difficult? similar in difficulty?)
- Number of questions (length of working time?)
- Materials to bring (clipboards/paper/pencil?)
- Teacher supervision (monitoring throughout halls?)
- Consolidation techniques (select examples? group sharing?)
To create your QR codes and associated questions, check out this awesome tool- the QR Code Treasure Hunt Generator.
Overall, the students seemed to appreciate this break from routine and their level of engagement noticeably increased (which was especially obvious during this 8:00- 8:55 AM period)! I will definitely be adding this strategy to my teaching toolbox 🙂