This post originally appeared on the blog Free to Discover.

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

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Amanda Nix of Free to Discover lives in New Hampshire with her husband, two children, and English chocolate lab. She loves working with secondary math students! She currently LOVES teaching Geometry, Algebra II, and Personal Finance at an Alternative High School. However, her experience ranges from grades 5-12, with significant time spent teaching middle school math. She has a true passion for teaching math using fun, interactive methods. Amanda holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematics Education from Lesley University, and considers herself a lifelong learner. She loves sharing her ideas and strategies for teaching mathematics on the Free to Discover Blog.  You can also connect with her on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram