Thursday, 22 September 2016

QR Code Possibilities are Endless

I loved using QR codes in my classroom and to this day, wish I had discovered it earlier.  As a result, I am going out of my way to introduce them to other teachers so that they can identify with the potential that they offer the classroom environment.

I have compiled a few 'How to..." videos for you to watch if you are nervous about taking the leap into the QR code world (believe me, once you start you too are going to wish you did it earlier).

The first video is a TedEd video.  Karen Mensing is a teacher and she gives you practical ideas on how to use QR codes and the results it had with her students.  If this doesn't get you hooked...

Right, you're hooked!  Now what?  The next video is from Instructions 101, and here you are given a variety of websites that you can use to create your QR codes for FREE.  I always use but there are others which work just as well.

Hehe, and while searching for appropriate QR code videos for you, I did come across this one... "The Problem with QR codes."  It made me giggle because I have often been in these situations, and just reminds us all to think about how we use technology.  just because we have access to it, does not mean that it is appropriate in every situation :)

I hope you found this post useful and will dive straight into QR codes when you go back to school.

You can also get some ideas here on how I used QR codes in the classroom and a FREEBIE that will make organizing group work fun!

Here are also a few QR code board games which I created.  they will add a different twist to practicing what was learned:

Saturday, 17 September 2016

This is how I encouraged students to 'Get to Know' each other.

Are you back at school?  Most, if not all, schools have reopened for the new year and days have been filled with getting to know new students, setting ground rules and tackling the task of covering all required work before the first set of assessments.

The first few weeks ( as well as the last few, and everything in between) prove to be rushed and fly by with many tasks to be accomplished.

I always found to spend time at the beginning of the year building my new class as a 'family' worked well for us for the rest of the year.  I did this by creating opportunities for my students to get to know one another.

I would spend time introducing activities to enable students to get to know each other.  Firm favorites were:

Find one person who...

This game entailed each student being given a page containing a list of characteristics.  They would then have to move around the class to find people, and record their names in the space provided, who meet the characteristics.

For example, a characteristic could be:  "Someone who has a pet bird at home."  or "Someone who enjoys watching cartoons."

Students will quickly learn about their peers and have an opportunity to speak to and interact with everyone.

You can download my version from Teachers Pay Teachers for FREE.  I have also included an editable version in this download so that you can add your own criteria and make it more applicable for your students.  I would love you to leave feedback if you find it useful.

What are your goals?

My students sat in groups so would discuss with the rest of the group what their short term and long term goals were.  They would discuss with each other possible methods for achieving these goals.  Each students would then have an opportunity to report back to the class with one of their group member's goals and possible solutions in achieving the goals.

I did this activity with my 5th -7th graders.  It helped then realize that their goals are achievable if they are prepared to follow a path and put in work to get there.

Getting to Know You Board Game

I designed this fun board game for students to play, not only at the beginning of the year, but throughout it.  I used it as an early finisher activity on occasion to help students to move away from their 'click groups' and find out about others in their class too.

Should you be interested in using this game in your class, I have listed a version in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  You can purchase it here.

Friday, 9 September 2016

CVC Fun on the Way to School

Megan is in Kindergarten and loves books.  Every night we read two stories to her and she is starting to recognize words- which is very exciting.

We have been focusing a lot on Sight Words and CVC words and it was getting to a point where she wanted to read on her own, but there would still be too many words that were unfamiliar.

It is also rather challenging having Adam around as he then comes over and wants to read too, which is problematic and my attention is diverted to him.

So, I moved her reading time to the car on the way to school.  We spend about an hour in the car waiting in traffic and I thought this would be the perfect time... Adam would be busy with whatever he brought along and Megan could focus on reading.

The problem came in with me not being right next to her, and there were too many words which were new to her and this ended up being frustrating.

This gave me an idea to create some reading strips for her with a twist!

The sentences revolve around CVC words and for each set a certain number of Sight Words have been used.  This means that she sees the Sight Words fairly regularly and gets to practice the fluency of the CVC as well as the Sight Words.

On each card, there are two sentences and a picture.  (This is where the twist comes in.) She needs to read the two sentences and decide which sentence best fits with the picture and then mark it with a white board marker (or you could use mini pegs).  This focuses not only on her fluency but her understanding as well.

We keep our cards in the car, so that when we hit the traffic, she can take them out and read!

There is no pressure, but most mornings she chooses to take them out and I love hearing how her confidence is growing.

My next mission is to find some appropriate reading books which can replace the cards once she has completed them.

I have listed these cards in my TPT store, should you be interested in them.  Click here for a direct link.  They would be the percet center activity as they can adapted to be self-corrective by placing a sticker behind the correct answer.  Or you can check the answers once the set is complete.

Happy Teaching!
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