Using a Scavenger Hunt to Differentiate Mathematics Instruction It can often be challenging to create ways to differentiate instruction in the mathematics classroom. Dimension 2.4 of T-TESS (Texas Teachers Evaluation and Support System) requires teachers to "provide differentiated instruction methods and content." I have found that using a scavenger hunt along with purposeful grouping can create an engaging activity that also caters to the needs of a variety of students. The basic idea is that students will hunt for problems that are geared toward their algebraic readiness. I like to form groups of three by using data from a previous common or formative assessment and then group students who performed similarly on a concept or topic. Students enjoy working with peers who are at the same readiness level and collaborating on the various problems. In addition, students really enjoy this activity because it allows them to get up and move beyond the four walls of the classroom. Teachers can also make the scavenger hunt into a race for the finish if students enjoy competitions. I also "hid" the problems in the eggs by using the app, Aurasma (an augmented reality app that is free and user friendly) so that students would not see the problem until they got to the egg and scanned it using their smart device (see Figure 2). The app can be found in the Apple App Store and additional information can be found at www.aurasma.com (will be redirected to new site www.hpreveal.com). Alternatively, this could be done with QR codes or by simply putting the problems on the back of the eggs. Figure 2. Pictures of sample problems using the Aurasma app. Activity: The last time I used this activity it was in the spring and my students were solving algebraic equations. The activity was called "egg equations" and students were sent on a scavenger hunt. I taped pictures of eggs randomly throughout the hallway (see Figure 1) that were numbered from one to thirty-two. I tiered the problems with four levels of complexity. Figure 1. Picture of "egg equations" taped throughout the hallways. 1. Level 1 problems were basic two-step equations (Eggs 1-8) Ex: 2x + 5 = 13 2. Level 2 problems included distribution (Eggs 9-16) Ex: 2(x + 5) =18 3. Level 3 problems had variables on both sides (Eggs 17-24) Ex: 5x + 8 = 2x +26 4. Level 4 problems included distribution and variables on both sides (Eggs 25-32) Ex: 3(2x + 1) = 4(x -6) www.txmathteachers.org As previously noted, students were placed into groups of three based on similar algebraic readiness and were given a hunt card that told them what eggs (equations) to go find. Each hunt card (recording sheet) was numbered differently and students were to complete only those problems. All students were required to find the same amount of eggs (I had them find twelve), but hunts A & B contained mostly two-step equations (level one problems). Hunts C & D had fewer level one problems and had more level two and level three problems. Hunts E & F only had one or two problems from level one and contained several from level four. Finally, hunts G & H did not contain level one problems and were primarily comprised of level three and level four problems. The illustrations (see Figure 3) on the following page represent examples of problems assigned to level one and level four problems based on students' algebraic readiness. Hunt A contained problems: 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15, 18, 21, 24, & 27. While hunt H contained problems: 9, 11, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 23, 25, 28, 30, 32. A few of the problems were used in multiple hunts. Spring/Summer 2018 | 15http://www.aurasma.com http://www.hpreveal.com http://www.txmathteachers.org

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