Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

#1st5Days Scavenger Hunt

I've been wanting to do a QR code scavenger hunt with my students for a few years now. We had an "extra" few days before school started this year, so I had some time to create! My original inspiration came from The Daring Librarian...!

My Goals:
--Classroom procedures shared in an engaging way
--Students moving around the room, searching, reading, listening, discussing, learning
--Easily accessible information for students who join in the middle of the year
--Information presented in different ways (video, audio, pictures, reading)
--Student practice with iPads we can check out and use
--End result: Students will learn and the bulletin board will be full (fingers crossed)
Materials Needed:

--Pairs of students w/split headphones when possible
--Double-sided copy of a hand out (here is mine) for each pair of students (next year I hope to go paperless!)
--QR scan app for each pair of students
--QR codes (for your lessons - here are mine) around the room, near the objects they describe
--An activity for students to do when they are finished. Mine is embedded into the hunt.
--Patience and time
How I imagined it would go:
I hope students will be searching for QR codes, reading, listening, and viewing our processes for the room. They have the handout as somewhat of a guide - they will be able to slowly fill it in once they access each site. I love that the handout isn't in any order, and that they blanks can be filled in differently, depending on what students got out of the (very) mini-lessons. I also hope to see students getting to work on our bulletin board decorations for Parent Night on their own.

How it actually went:
Overall, I believe it went well. We had some snafus, such as the fact that students didn't know their Google passwords had been changed, and needed to come to me to find them if they wanted to use some of the documents. I collected reflections from the two days of school, and one student actually wrote "I did not enjoy the scavenger hunt. I could barely find any of the questions." Oh, so good to know! I realized more and more as the day went on that the sheet provided was "all over the place" and students really couldn't find what they had to fill in. I'll need to change this so they are not as frustrated. Other students, however, wrote that they enjoyed it. "I like the scavenger hunt because it lets you learn about the class." "I thought today's lesson was challenging but fun, and how I like LA to be." I also received a mixed message... "I do not know what ELA will be like unless it is always easy like today. Then I won't like it."
Sometimes we stood on chairs...
There was a lot of looking down...
And many random pairs of students who didn't know each other...

--Use a URL shortener before you put it into the QR code generator. It will make your QR codes easier to read. I used the Chrome extension URL shortener.
--I used QR Stuff for my QR code generator. I downloaded each pic, and saved them in my Google Drive.
--Explore the various tech you can use - modeling for students! I used my favorite tech spreadsheet (that I also share w/students) and various apps to make the QR codes go to different places. I also added in a fun ChatterPix video (a first for me)!
--Don't wait until the last minute to do this... It took a lot of planning, creating, and organizing.
--Don't think for one moment this will be a permanent lesson you can laminate and use every year - if you're a teacher who is learning from other teachers on Twitter, you KNOW things will be different in the classroom next year! ;)
I'm looking forward to seeing the students learn how they can run our class in room 239!


  1. This is a cool idea. I used QR codes last year to introduce my grade 9 Social Studies text to the kids (as part of the course intro). I had to wait a day so that enough students had QR code readers on their phones. This year we have schoolwide free wifi, so they can get the reader right away, so it'll be smoother!

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