Monday, August 12, 2013

First day QR Scavenger Hunt

Well, the day finally came. The first day back to school.

I arrived early. Made sure I was prepared and ready and that my two iPads were charged. I chatted with former students who dropped by to say hello. 

Then the bell rang. 

I greeted students as the came through the door, smiling at all the unsure faces. Then it was time to begin. 

I took roll, introduced myself, and told them "It's time to go on a scavenger hunt!" Their faces were stunned! I asked students with smartphones to take them out and download (if they had Internet access) a QR Code reader. I suggested the QR for iPhone or Android app as it is free and easy to use. Students were hesitant to take their phones out, but once I explained that for this class and this assignment they were in the free and clear! Smiles passed on their faces and we were ready!

After explanations, they were off! At first, my students didn't understand the purpose of the QR codes. They didn't realize that after they scanned the QR code that they need to read or watch a video to get the information needed on the question sheet. BUT once students figured that out, the scavenger hunt was golden! 

Some things I would change, as per my students and my own observations, is that my students need more time. They needed more time to work their way around campus. I did have my friends daughter do a "test run" and it took her a half an hour. My brand-new seventh graders needed probably about an hour and a half to truly get everywhere and do their video responses. 

Secondly, I would make sure my video cameras were not running on dead batteries! I know, I know, simple oversight, but still!

Thirdly, I think I may try Klikaklu instead of a QR code. It is a great site to use pictures as a trigger to the information or video. Also, I can monitor when students find each place and when they finish. I will have to try it out.

Overall, students really enjoyed the hunt. Especially on the first day of school as most other teachers simply talk about the class, give paperwork to send home, and talk the entire period. It was great.

DAY TWO- TLAP Stranded Island Activity

Dave Burgess is a GENIUS. Truly. I can not thank him ENOUGH for writing Teach like a Pirate and writing about his stranded island activity. Hearing my students thought process, their questions, answers, and handling disagreements was truly awe inspiring. 

I started each period (I have my students for two periods) dressed as if I was ready to board a flight to Hawaii or some other tropical paradise. I had my sunglasses on, my cary-on bag, my teddy bear (Honey Nizzle Fitz), and a fake flower lei. As students came in, I was talking to myself (yep!) about the impending flight and vacation. What I was going to do, where I was going to visit, and what I would see. When the tardy bell rang, I yelled "Finally! My flight has been called!" And started the video I created with VideoScribe.

As the video played, I acted out the entire scenario. Flight attendants, me using the oxygen mask, screaming as the plane goes done, landing in the water, the raft, passing out, and meeting the helicopter pilot. It was EPIC!

Then the description of the survivors was presented and then students decided who stayed and who got to go. The conversations were amazing! I was so impressed with ALL of my students. Even my Strategic English Class. Each student group was thoughtful in their discussions, thought process, and the thoroughness of verifying their answers. It was truly a wonderful way to showcase my expectations for group work, their answers, but also for students to practice working in groups and managing disagreements and even their own expectations. 
Wow. Truly powerful!

And this was only day two! I can not wait to see how the rest of the year progresses! 

The hook to the stranded island activity...laugh, share, enjoy! JepsonD4 did!


  1. Can you give me some details as to what you included in the scavenger hunt. Was it just fun things or videos etc about your class, class rules, etc? If it is easier, my email is Thanks so much, I love trying new and fun things with my classes.

    1. Of course! Because the 7th graders are brand new, they don't know where the office, nurse, bathrooms, etc are. So I included all those stops and videos, and webpages about rules or procedures I need them to know. I will take pictures of my QR codes and post them here :)