Sunday, April 13, 2014

QR Codes Rock!!

I recently purchased a task card activity from Teachers Pay Teachers that used QR codes as a way for  the students to check their answers.  I have always been intrigued by the use of a QR code in the classroom, so I decided to stop wondering and give it a try.  Perhaps foolishly, I decided to try it during an observation with my principal.  However, my principal enjoyed seeing the technology and discussed other applications for the QR codes within the classroom that would be beneficial for students, teachers, and parents.  I appreciated the feedback and brainstorming from him and decided to see how hard it was to make a worksheet with QR codes on it.

Well, it was a cinch and if you haven't tried them, you have to try them!  I made the simple worksheet that you can download below this paragraph.  I used it for Lesson 82 of the Saxon Algebra I (2007), so all of my fellow Saxon users feel free to take it and use it!  Just one caution, the problems are the examples from the book's lesson.  I dd that intentionally, so that I could have students who were truly stuck and not sure what they did wrong check their work to the books work if I was busy helping others.  I never had to do that though because they helped each other so well.

To make this, I Googled "How to make a QR code" and found several websites that would let you make a QR code.  I used the website to make the codes and then download them for free.  Then, I copied and pasted them onto the worksheet.  I am a novice to doing this though, so my formatting is simplistic.

The students used their cell phones with a QR reader/scanner to check their answers.  I found that the students really liked being able to check the answer as soon as they finished the problem, so with some simple ground rules, I had no problems with cell phones being used for other purposes.

I am really excited about the possibilities that I can do with the QR codes.  Next time, I would like to have a "Need help?" section at the top with a QR code attached to a You Tube video or another source for students who are stuck or just need reassurance and I am busy with another student.  I am feeling like this could be a really good thing for my students and how I teach.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Bit of Humor at My Expense

Ok, so today was one of those days where my students had every right to tease me some for what I said.  It was completely unintentional, but I stepped in it a bit.

This was my prototype.  My pretty one I left at school.
We were making the modified shutter foldable that is pictured.  I wanted the students to shut the flaps and label the front of the foldable.  So, I am just in teacher mode, giving directions and I said, "Shut your flaps and label the first boxes Properties. . ."  My room became quieter and I had one of my kiddos look at me and say, "Did you just tell us to shut up?"  I said, "No, I want you to shut your flaps and label the front".  As I was modeling how the flaps opened and shut, I realized how I sounded and turned beet red.  I told the kiddos that I suppose that didn't sound right, even if it was really what I wanted them to do.  There was parroting of "Shut your flaps" in different voices and when the classroom became a little loud, someone would  call out, "Shut your flaps".  Then the class giggled and I shook my head and said, "You are never going to let me live this down!" to all the smiling faces saying, "Nope!"

Ahh...nothing better some days than to be completely teased by your 8th graders.  Considering that they will leave me for high school in a couple of very short months, I am privileged to have had this memory today to think about and smile.

Anyone else have a favorite memory about their 8th grade students?  Love to hear your story!