Saturday, March 12, 2011

Scavenger Hunt

I got the idea for a scavenger hunt from some friends.  They created a proportion activity that I use in my math strategies class. I hadn't tried to use it for anything else, until recently.

The setup is pretty simple, you just make up a bunch of cards with questions on the bottom half and an answer to a different problem on the top half.  Each card has a distinguishing feature like a symbol or something, and you tape them all around the room.

I had students stick with a partner, to help answer each other's questions. Students are supposed to choose one card to start with, and work out the problem on the bottom half of the page.  Then they look around the room for the answer.  When they find it, they record the symbol in the answer key and work out the next problem and so on . . .

Remember my Rock Star intern? I asked him to create a scavenger hunt to review in the middle of my basic trig unit for Algebra 2. The topic was finding sohcahtoa, given different types of information. He wrote all the problems himself, and created a page for students to show their work and record the corresponding symbols.

Rock Star thought about everything! He made sure that the answers to every problem were different, but yet similar enough that it wasn't a dead giveaway. He proofread his solutions carefully and there were no mistakes (well, I had to make two teeny tiny corrections). The number of problems he selected was the perfect amount. Everyone finished, but there wasn't a ton of extra time at the end of the activity. I couldn't have done it better myself.

This was my first time entrusting my intern with the creation of an activity. I will admit that I was fully expecting cautiously preparing for the day to be a disaster. But it couldn't have been more perfect. I loved this activity and I will definitely laminate it and use it again. Students were up and moving around, and they were pretty focused.  Even my class with focus issues worked really hard.

I am thinking of how nice it would be to continue to utilize Rock Star's help, and I have decided:  This kid is not allowed to graduate.


  1. I'm totally doing sohcahtoa right now in Geometry. Any way I could snag this activity?

  2. Hmm, I am always happy to share! Rock Star just wrote it out, though. I don't have it saved anywhere. But I bet I could scan and post it as a pdf? I'll get on that Monday.

  3. Can you also post the proportion activity, too?
    Thank you

  4. The proportion activity is copyrighted, but I do know the authors and I could ask them how they feel about that. :)

  5. Amy, that would be super fantastic! I plan to do the activity on Wednesday and could use some help writing the questions. So at the end, did you show them the symbols they should have? Did they have a sheet that they were carrying around with them?

  6. I will post it tonight, Elissa! (Scribd doesn't work at school!?), but I have to scan here before I can post. Anyway, I feel like I should tell you that I am not sure this is going to be what you want. It has angles in degrees and radians, angles that are larger than 90, some special triangles, and some unit circle stuff.

    We gave them a sheet to carry around. It was divided into boxes so that they could use the space to show work. Then there was a place for all the symbols. When they were finished, they had to read off the symbols in order to me. If they made a mistake, I would send them back to the symbol where the error happened and have them check their work from there.

  7. Thank you very much.
    I teach repeaters this term and I wil try anything, because they are so afraid of the word MATH.