Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Learning Gains through Play project – Module 8 Scavenger Hunt fun in KZN

Submitted by Hlengiwe Mfeka
Despite the afternoon heat, teachers came in prepared with their hats on and comfortable shoes to attend the scavenger hunt (Module 8 in our training). Out of 21 teachers, 15 attended – from four schools excluding Cedara. The workshop was conducted at Thembelihle Primary in Howick.

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Module 8 is the scavenger hunt teaching strategy that allows learners to go out of class to have real experience that is related to any subject content area. The template provided for the teachers helps as a basis to design other possible field trip ideas that can be adapted for classroom work. This is a highly effective method of enhancing learning in a good number of subjects.

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At the beginning, teachers were to find their group members using a QR code reader. This was a novelty for the teachers. This activity helped them to get acquainted with the use of the Quick Mark App as they scanned each other’s QR codes given to individuals at the start of the session. It was interesting to observe the collaboration in trying to find out where each individual belonged. There were four groups consisting of three to four members. The tempo picked up when it was time to move out and search for different QR codes and activities. All the group members dashed out and could be seen doing all it takes to earn their points – they had lots of fun.

After the full 60 minutes had elapsed, three groups were found seated inside the classroom and in one minute one group which consisted of a little older ladies came in running. They didn’t want to take a chance to have their points deducted due to lateness.

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The score sheet was exchanged by the groups. Discussion time kicked in with all group members ready to defend their completed tasks. The incorporation of peer assessment in the scavenger hunt was a huge strength – it enhanced communication tremendously.

Educational issues that were integral to this teaching strategy were raised and a discussion ensued around ideas and how this strategy can be applied in class, especially with young learners. Teachers were asked to provide practical lesson examples of how they could adapt the strategy within their subjects. At the end scores were announced with position one and two receiving prizes as seen in the picture below.

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Overall the session was a great success and very much appreciated by teachers, it actually captured their interest throughout. Educators admitted that if well planned, the scavenger hunt teaching strategy can be implemented and yield far improved results on the learning outcomes.

They had gained first-hand experience about how their teaching strategy could broaden their learners’ awareness of their surroundings or environment, while deepening their knowledge in a particular learning area. SchoolNet will be monitoring to see how this strategy is applied in schools when we all know it will receive even higher popularity from learners.

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