I am a huge fan of Treasure Hunt activities (and all the derivatives such as Loop Cards, Tarsia, etc). However, most of the time I am confined to the classroom, and it can get a bit squished with everybody up and about with desks and chairs everywhere.
For those that don't know, a treasure hunt consists of having a number of questions up around the room. On each card there is a question, and an answer to a different question. Students can start anywhere, and they write down the card number. They answer the question, and find the card that has this answer on it. They write down this card number, and answer the new question, all the way round to the beginning.
So on the Friday before half term started, I asked one of the other teachers if they wanted to combine our two sets (13 and 10 students) to do a Treasure Hunt on Surds. With a bigger group, I booked one of the public spaces in the school: the canteen. I thought this would be a good location as it is away from classrooms, so wouldn't distract other classes, and is big enough for the students to have the space to move fleely. By the end of the lesson, it was clear I had made a good choice in using this rarely used space. Not only did the students have the space to move freely, there were plenty of places to hide the cards.
The groups, who can sometimes be hard to motivate on a Friday afternoon, were fully involved in the lesson. They were running around, trying to find the answers, asking for help on the ones they couldn't do, working together in their pairs to make sure they were right. It was fantastic. Now this could have been helped by the fact that there was a chocolatey prize involved, but they all did an amazing job. And we told them that.
It was a fantastic way to finish off the half term, and a nasty topic, and I would definitely recommend finding a good space to run a Treasure Hunt. I know I will in future!
I am a maths teacher looking to share good ideas for use in the classroom, with a particular interest in using technology as much as possible.
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