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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Completing a QR Code Scavenger Hunt With Limited Access to Digital Devices

If you have ever checked out my blog, you know how much I love QR code scavenger hunts.  This year I have used them for decimal operations, fraction operations, whole number multiplication and double digit addition just to name a few. (Update: the entire collection is now available to browse here!)

Because I am in and out of many different classrooms and work with a wide range of grades, access to digital devices varies greatly from room to room and grade to grade.  I wanted to share with you today how I used a QR code scavenger hunt in a third grade classroom where the kids have access to only two digital devices with a QR code reader (tablets, iPads, iPods, smartphones etc).

We set the scavenger hunt up around the classroom, demonstrated how to use it and made it into a math station where kids could go during station time or after completing other work.  Here are a few pictures and a few things we learned about setting it up this way.

Our first lesson was to have everything you need in one spot.  Using my folder organization system, all I needed to do was put this folder in a math station tub and we were set.  Everything needed is inside.  This class had been working with fluency with double digit subtraction so we did this scavenger hunt.
A peek at the inside of the folder before hanging up the QR code cards
We knew we wanted the cards up around the perimeter of the room so that they would be out of the way and could stay up for a week or longer to give everyone a chance to do the scavenger hunt.  We found that these two cards were placed to close together and some kids were scanning one by accident when they meant to scan the other.  This might have fixed itself over time as this group of kids got more familiar with QR codes but we needed to fix it right away so...
We re-hung some of the cards so they were staggered in distance and height.  This seemed to eliminate the problem of  scanning one when you meant to scan another.  We had some bulletin board space that worked great as well as the ledge of a few book shelves.  
We also used magnets to attach some of the cards to the large heater.  This was a great way to make use of a very un-used space.  
Because students in this class will be completing this scavenger hunt at different times, we allowed them access to the answer key.  This is for use in checking work at the END of the hunt only.  The answer key is copied on a bright piece of card stock so it would be difficult for students to use it to cheat.  Also the way the scavenger hunt is set up, it pretty much checks itself.  If you get the wrong answer, chances are you won't be able to find the next card and will have to fix your mistake right away.
How do you make do with the technology you have in your classroom?  Please respond in the comments below!  Want to read more about using QR code scavenger hunts in your classroom?  Check out this post! (Update: Our school went to 1 to 1 Chromebooks.  We like using this free app.  Now that I curate online resources in a school wide math blog, I just leave the link to our favorite free app at the top of each grade level's page)

Check out all the QR code scavenger hunts here!


  1. I love this, but I'm not sure how to figure it out. I have two iPod touches, two iPads, two laptops...I mean you'd think I'd figure it out. I do lots of technology in the classroom.

    One of my favorite things to do is take pictures of parts of their math workbook. Then I go into Doodle Buddy (iPad App) and use the picture as a background. I pull it up on my projector and ask the kids to show me how they problem solve when they see this kind of a problem or page in their workbook. They can come up one by one and write with their fingers on the "page". It is so successful because they are engaged and they can all see what's happening so easily. Plus it is great for helping kids practice on what they about to see on their own. I am going to study this post to try to do my own QR hunt. Thanks for sharing.

    First in Maine

    1. There are many QR code scavenger hunts on TPT and you can create your own using a QR code generator. I often use this one:
      Once you get started it is hard to stop. Kids love it!

  2. I love this idea but I'm going to have to read your other posts. For some reason I haven't quite figured out this QR code thing!

    1. Try one that is already made (by yourself without kids first!) Then move onto doing one with a small group of kids before you tackle the whole class.

  3. love the idea. I am having my students bring in their smartphones and tablets.