5 Reasons to Start Using Scavenger Hunts in Your Math Class Today

5 reasons to start using scavenger hunts in your math class today

Scavenger hunts are a favorite among teachers and students!  Here are 5 reasons to start using scavenger hunts in your math class today:

5) Ignite the Adolescent Brain
Movement ignites the adolescent brain and is a necessary part of the learning process.  Giving students a break from endless sitting provides a boost of energy and increases engagement, leading to more learning and better retention.   When it is time to sit back down and quietly take notes or complete bookwork, the energy received from completing the scavenger hunt will transfer to the next activity.

4) Foster Student Independence
Scavenger Hunts are self-checking so students learn to take more ownership over their learning and become more independent.  Students solve a problem then walk around the room to find their answer.  If they cannot find the answer, they know something went wrong.  They can check over their work, check the original problem, or collaborate with a peer.  This process also ensures that students are being reflective learners by finding their own mistakes and seeking the correct process and answer.

5 reasons to start using scavenger hunts in your math class today

3) Provide 1-on-1 Intervention
Once your students know how to complete a scavenger hunt, it pretty much runs itself.  Imagine having a classroom full of engaged students who can complete a practice activity on their own!  I use this time to check in with students on my radar as struggling with the topic.  I can provide one-on-one assistance as needed, then send them on their way and check in with other students.  Also amazing for the adolescent psyche, students are all so busy and engaged they don’t notice who is getting some extra scaffolding.

2) Build Retention
Periodic review helps to build retention.  Scavenger hunts can build retention when used as a spiral or end of unit review.  Scavenger hunts that cover a number of topics force students to think back to previously learned material, seek information from their notes, or readdress past topics through collaboration with peers or the instructor.  Great for standardized test or final exam preparation.

1) Students and teachers love them!
“This was an awesome activity!  My students loved it and it saved me so much time.  Thank you!”   -Ashton O

“I used this activity with my students the day before a break to let them get out of their seats for the scavenger hunt.  It was perfect, challenging, and got students to think.”   -Jaycie A

Great activity and so easy to check!  I need every scavenger hunt to be like this!”   -Kelly K

“This was the first scavenger hunt I did with my students.  It was easy to explain and my students were engaged.”   -Jennifer A

“My students enjoyed this activity.  It allowed some to work independently so that I was able to help those who were still struggling with the concept.”   -Dorothy N

5 reasons to start using scavenger hunts in your math class today

5 reasons to start using scavenger hunts in your math class today

I also found this New York Times article really interesting.  Check it out for more information about incorporating movement in the classroom.

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