Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How To Use QR Codes in the Classroom

Hi teacher friend! Do you love using centers in your classroom? Are you looking for new ways to integrate technology in your centers?  Have you ever wanted to use QR Codes in your classroom but you're just not sure where to begin? If you answered "YES!"  to my questions then this blog post is for you!  I am going to show you my favorite QR Code app, how to scan a QR Code, and some of my favorite free and paid resources for QR Codes!

First, you might be wondering, "What is a QR Code?!" A QR Code is a readable barcode that can be scanned with a device. Once it is scanned, it will take the user to another source of information. They are great to use in the classroom because they are easy to scan and take the user right to the information they need. They are perfect if you want your students to be able to check their work!

These task cards have QR Codes!

To get started, you will need a device. At my school, I have one iPad for my students.  They share this device during center time. If you don't have an iPad, you can use an old iPhone that you've updated or an iPod Touch. If you don't have any devices I would recommend checking Amazon. You can also ask family, friends, or parents to donate their old devices!

Once you have your device, you will need to download an app from the App Store that will read QR Codes. My favorite app for this is called"QR Reader." Guess what? It's totally free at the App Store! Yay for free stuff!! To get it, just go the App Store, type in "QR Reader", and download.

Here is how it will look once it has downloaded.

Now that you've downloaded the app, you can start searching for QR Code resources! There are so many options! You can find QR Codes that will take students to online books, videos, and so much more. My favorite way to use QR Codes is during centers. If you want to give QR Codes a try before you make a purchase, you can go to my TPT shop and get a freebie here!

Feel ready to start purchasing some other resources for math or reading? Get some of my favorite QR Code resources here!

Give QR Codes a try with this freebie from my shop!

Once your app has been installed and you have some QR Codes, you can start scanning! I've included photos and a video below to show you how to scan a QR Code.

First tap the QR Reader to open it.

Once you've opened the app, a screen like this will appear. It will look like a camera. 

Line up the QR Code in the square. It will usually scan very easily. If it does not, you can tap the screen on the QR Code or hold the device closer or farther from the QR Code.

Once the QR Code scans, it will take you to another screen. In this example it has taken me to the correct answer in a separate Dropbox file. Once are are finished, you can tap the "X" in the upper left hand corner and it will take you back to the camera.
Are these pictures still not helping you learn how to scan? Check out this quick video below that will show you how to scan too!

I hope this was helpful!! How do you plan to use QR Codes in your classroom? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pencil Management

Have you ever felt completely frustrated by pencils? Whether it's students not having a sharp pencil or even having a pencil altogether, this process can take away from your valuable instructional time! It's crazy how something so small can cause such a BIG problem! Not to mention, it can be a chore to organize your pencils. When I first started teaching I put my extra pencils for students to use in cups. I had one cup for sharp pencils and one for dull pencils. Sadly this system did not work. The cups were CONSTANTLY getting tipped over and my pencils were never put back in the correct cups (AHHHH!) Well friends, I've found a solution that works for my classroom! I'm going to share some tips with you that has helped to save some of my sanity....

I now store my pencils in drawers! Each drawer is labeled with either sharp, dull, or erasers with an accompanying picture. You may choose for students to start out with 1-3 pencils at the beginning of the day. When they are in need of a pencil, they can go to the drawers and take one from the "sharp" drawer. If their pencil is broken or needs to be sharpened, they will put it in the "dull" drawer. They are also responsible for grabbing an eraser if needed. When we are running low on sharp pencils I typically sharpen them. You can also choose to make this a student's job. The large and bold print with the visual has been extremely helpful for students to know where to put their pencil! They almost always get put in the correct place!

Pencil Drawers
Get the drawer labels from my TPT shop by clicking here! Best of all, you can edit the text if needed! :) *The label shown above are 1.75 inches tall by 6.08 inches wide. Click the link or image below to grab similar drawers that will fit the labels. STERILITE 3 Drawer Mini  

Click the image to grab drawers similar to mine!

Right now I keep these drawers in my writing center because I don't have a very large space. I would suggest keeping yours drawers wherever works best for you! If you are interested in how I organize my writing center check out my previous post here!

So now that you've got your pencil management figured out you can take a minute to kick back and relax. Pencil shoes not required....

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