Tuesday, September 25, 2012

QR Code Literacy Activity Reflection

Well, I was able to borrow 15 iPads and begin our literacy work.  It was a HUGE success.  The kids were so engaged on what was happening.  It was a moment where I just stood there and let the learning happen. 

I did encounter a few issues; however.  Two of the station activities did not work with the iPads.  The first was due to a block from our internet filtering system.  I built this activity at home, so I was unaware of how the blocks might impact our lesson.  Also, one activity runs on flash.  Remember my earlier post about how iPads do not run flash?  Yep, I forgot my own advice. I guess I thought it ran through YouTube.  So, what I did was make that one station into a laptop station.  For the website that was blocked, I simply downloaded the short story I wanted them to listen to right into iTunes and they were able to enjoy the story.  So, my take away from this is: 1) QR codes immediately engage kids.  2) Our room was buzzing with all the learning. 3) Check each QR link at school to be sure that what you want them to do is not blocked. 4) Do not choose something that is run by Java.

This lesson took about 2 hours.  The kids were really engaged for the entire time.  They are now asking for their next QR code treasure hunt.  I love that kids think reviewing literacy strategies is a treasure hunt.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Literacy QR Code Activity to Share

Hi my friends!
I have created a reading activity that includes the use of QR codes.  I will be using this with my 5th graders tomorrow.  I wanted a way to review "what good readers do" while checking in on the skills they have mastered and the ones I will be sure to focus on in the next few weeks.  Feel free to use it!  It was super easy to make. Let's walk through how I made this lesson.
QR Codes and Great Readers

  I first chose the topics/focus of my lesson.  I was actually inspired by this "Good Readers" poster I found on pinterest.  It did not link back to its original home.  I cannot find its  author, so if anyone out there knows who made this,  let me know so I can give credit to him/her.

I then decided to make a QR code activity that reviews/assesses these skills.  I created questions that I wanted the students to answer.  I then found websites that would allow them to practice those skills.  For example, I chose visualization as an important reading skill.  I talk about "mind movies" all the time.  I knew I wanted a story that they could listen to, but not have any images to support the story.  I also knew I wanted a story that was engaging and had great atmosphere.  It made me think of the author, O. Penn-Coughin.  This local author writes amazing spooky stories for kids.  He also has amazing audio podcasts of these stories.

So, I found the link to the story I wanted the students to listen to.  I then went to http://www.esponce.com/ to create my QR code.  I made sure the generate tab was clicked.  I then copied and pasted the URL of the spooky story and hit "generate."  It then creates a QR code.  I then saved it as a jpeg file.  It looks like this.------------>

I now plan to take the QR codes for this activity and hang them around the room.  The students will be in teams of 2-3.  They will go around the room to scan the QR codes and answer the questions.
I plan to do this lesson with my class tomorrow.  I will let you all know how it goes.  I have to admit I am excited to watch this lesson unfold.  It is much more engaging than the workbook pages that review this same information.  I will post tomorrow to let you know how it all works out. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

QR Codes in the Classroom

Hi friends!
Well, the first week of school is now over.  The kids were ready to go, and I was excited to bring some new ideas into the classroom.  So, of course, I wanted to share those ideas with you.  The first is QR codes.
QR codes are the new bar codes that can be read through free readers on smart phones and tablet devices.  You can also read them on your laptop.   You will start to notice these square codes on all sorts of products that you buy--like shampoo, coffee, breakfast cereal and much more.  QR Codes are easy to create--and even more fun to read.  It feels like a high tech treasure hunt.

Here are my suggestions for apps to use QR Codes
QR Code Readers For your iPhone/iPad: AT&T Reader or Red Laser
QR Code Reader/Generator For your laptop: Esponce Reader and Generator
Here is a video that shows QR codes in the classroom.

 Coming up on the next post...I will be attaching some QR code lessons I plan to use in my classroom.  Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why reinvent the wheel, when you can steal?

Ok, so not really steal.  Teacherspayteachers.com is an online marketplace where you can buy and then download lessons, units, posters, or even super cute clip art created by teachers all over the world.  It is super easy to use and very addicting.  I have purchased many fabulous things that have become part of my classroom routine.

For instance, there are several QR code lessons for easing yourself into integrating QR codes.  What are QR codes and why would you ever use them?  Tune in this week for a crash course in QR codes.  In the mean time, here is a link to this amazing gem. Click here:   Teachers Pay Teachers

There is also a similar site called Teachers Notebook.  It does not have quite as many resources, but I have found some great items there as well.  Here is a link for that site.Teacher's Notebook