# Strategy Swap… Part Deux

My Algebra students recently experienced a “QR Code Cooperative Problem-Solving” experience, so I tried a similar task with my pre-algebra students today.  Students “zapped” various QR codes posted around the classroom, then solved various problem sets using a template for their work.  Students could opt to work alone or with a partner (though sometimes loners and pairs end up working with other loners and pairs… I just let things happen organically!)  The focus today was simplifying and evaluating expressions with rational numbers.  The potential pitfalls included sign mistakes, decimal errors, and fraction flaws.

I made the materials a little more colorful this round, remembering that I am not actually printing any of the PDF problem statements (why stay boring black-and-white if you don’t have to?)  Students were amazingly on task throughout the activity, and the sense of mystery associated with the QR codes kept their attention and curiosity.  The communication that happens during these tasks is unmatched – I literally walk around my classroom with a cheesy grin on my face the entire time.  I love it.  I love hearing students coach and correct one another.  Time and again, I am reminded how important it is for students to have a voice in the mathematics classroom!

Most students finished by the end of the class period, and for those who did not, the problem sets were safely stored within each student’s Qrafter app for reference later – a benefit I hadn’t anticipated!

I also created QR codes that linked to enrichment and extension materials, though none of the groups utilized them because they were so focused on working together on the primary task of the day.  What’s great about that is… I can keep those QR codes hanging on my wall for another day, perhaps for students who finish a test or quiz early.

It would be wise for me to compile neat enrichment tasks that I always *want* to do but don’t often *get* to do due to time constraints, and just generate QR codes to leave on my walls year-round as “anchoring activities…”  hmmm…!

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