Saturday, November 28, 2015

How I've used QR codes in my classroom

QR codes are indispensable  I would say that QR codes are the "tech integrated classroom's" most important tool.  Below is a list of how I have used QR codes in the classroom.

1) A way to distribute assignments and directions when I have no voice.

I went through about two weeks where I had little to no voice.  On the days my voice was the worst, I put directions on QR codes.  I sorted the QR codes on my desk (yes I stayed in my desk, I felt awful).  The students worked in pairs and when they were finished with one task, I gave them another.  It worked very well.


2) A quick way to share a link to a website or activity.

I made a game spinner for a math game on http://wheeldecide.com/.  I shared the spinner link using a QR code generated on my computer using "The QR Extension"  from Google.  The students used their IPads and scanned the QR code and began learning without time wasted clicking through links and/or typing websites.


   

3) A motivational tool.

I add QR code "surprises" to books in my classroom library.  They are just little youtube videos that the students are allowed to watch if they make a 100% on their AR test. 



4) A way to get information to parents.

This QR code was attached to conference sign-up sheets.  The parents scanned the code and that opened a Google Form for the parents to fill out and request a conference.


These are a few ways I use QR codes in my classroom.  I will add more to this post as I get more ideas.  Please feel free to add comments on how you use QR codes in your classroom.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Step into Harry Potter's World- One of my favorite teacher moments EVER!

This month our focus was on Characters and visualizing.  My anchor text was Maniac Magee but I used a lot of Harry Potter too.  Why?  Because I love Harry Potter.  You can teach so much with Harry Potter (and almost all of the kids have seen the movie, and because the end of the month was Halloween).

Visualization

To teach visualization I used this blendspace.    The screens 11-13 demonstrated to students how Harry's speech to his classmates about the Patronus charm can add to our work on visualization.




After this lesson I taught a lesson on Character traits using Hermione Granger from Harry Potter as my example.





This all leads me to Friday when I had one of my favorite teaching moments of all time. Well maybe not teaching but teacher moments.

My students spent the last two days preparing for their final character project.  They drew a picture of their character, wrote a script, and created a Chatterpix.
I even had one student create a chatterpix of Harry Potter.

I decided that my wrap up would have to be a little more intense than that.  I came to school as if it were just a normal day.  Little did my students know I had a trick up my sleeve.  I wrote on the board; Plan A-Normal Day  Plan B- Surprise.  I told my students all day that they would love plan B but they had to get it together and keep it under control.  They started out a little rough but they got it back together so at about 1:30 I put my Plan B into action.

I put on a brain break from GoNoodle.  I made sure the students were well in control and enjoying their break.  I opened the closet door (which hid me from view).  I took out the braids that I had worn in my hair, slipped on a graduation robe and grabbed my broom.  When the brain break was over I used my iPad (and bluetooth) to start playing the Harry Potter theme.  Then Hermione Granger (me of course) walked out of the closet.  There was a collective scream/holler (I didn't think I would scare them but I did scare them a little I guess because they weren't expecting it.  I then directed them to the Google classroom assignment I prepared that took them to the Scholastic Harry Potter website and Pottermore.  We spent the next 30 minutes exploring Harry Potters world.  It was SOOO much fun.  I had the time of my life and the kids did too.


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