Sunday, July 20, 2014

QR Codes in the Classroom and My First Freebie!

Happy Sunday to all of you!  :-)

I'm back with another post showing how I integrate technology into our second grade curriculum.  Today, I want to share a few things I know about QR codes.  I'm sure it is old news to many of you, but I'd rather be redundant than leave somebody without helpful information.

Last spring, as I was planning a research activity my grade level team had put in the plans, I came up with a way to do it with the set of 10 iPads my campus has at our disposal.  I looked online for websites that had information about the United States flag that were near a second grade reading level.

As I found each website, I entered the link into a QR code generator.  I used  You can download, print or e-mail the code that is generated for each website.  Once I had my QR codes, my prep work was done.

Once in the iPad lounge we have on campus, I helped my students locate the i-nigma app and went over how to scan QR codes.  They surprised me by taking to this technology skill even more easily than I thought they would.  (We use lots of technology in our classroom, so my students are pretty tech-savvy.)

The i-nigma app is free from the app store.
My students and I had a great time with this activity, and I'm excited to incorporate more QR codes into my class this school year.  (For those of you that are interested, my students recorded their research for this assignment that I have discussed today on a circle map, coming up with at least 10 facts about the American flag.  Unfortunately, since it's summer, I don't have pictures or student work samples to share.)

Now for the freebie.  Please note, that this is the first thing I have ever created in PowerPoint for my classroom.  I hope everyone will be kind.  :-)  I know it's not perfect or fancy, but I'm looking forward to developing my skills and learning more about creating products for my classroom.

Click here to download this freebie.  It includes QR codes for 10 websites with kid-friendly information about the U.S. Flag.    

This sample page shows that I have included both the QR code and the website link for your convenience.  

  My next project that I'm working on is a problem-solving set.  My district really focuses on what they call Intentional Problem Solving, where we have students solve a math word problem daily.  While I created these and printed them out daily for the students to glue into math journals last year, I'm hoping to get 180 of them typed up in a file that I can just project on the SMART Board for my students this year.  My plan is to just have students record their equation, show their work, and circle their answer in their journals daily.

Anyway, thanks for reading.  I'll be back next weekend ready to share another way that I use technology in my classroom.  Have a great week!     


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just Claimin' my Blog on Bloglovin :-)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Don't worry about this quick post. I'm just claiming my blog on Bloglovin. I hope you are all having a terrific Thursday. I'll be back later this weekend with another post about technology in the classroom.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Economics and PicCollage

Hey everyone!

I'm back, and I am trying to use summer to get ahead on blogging and planning for the next school year.  I'm "binge-writing" a few blog posts and scheduling them to go live throughout the month of July.  Hopefully that will help me to stay on top of this blog a bit better.

I'm going to go ahead and continue with my theme of integrating technology into content area instruction.  I'm doing this for my campus also, so it's making blogging a bit easier as it becomes just a matter of a little bit of editing of one post to serve two purposes.  Along with a few other teachers, I'm a campus technology leader which basically means that I model using technology tools in the classroom for my colleagues.

Today, I'm sharing how I used PicCollage to assess my students' understanding of economics vocabulary.

PicCollage is an app for iPad/iPhone.  You can create a profile on their website, which will show your collages, but you cannot create a collage on the site (To follow PicCollage on Twitter click here. :-) ).  Creating collages is done in the app.  Once you open the app, you choose a background and layout.  Then you simply tap anywhere to add your first picture.  The picture can come from your iPad/iPhone camera or from the web (we used Google Images in class).  You can also add stickers, text, and you can even add video now (this feature was unavailable earlier in the year when I used the app with my students).    

I had my students use PicCollage and the Google Images search to find a picture to represent each of the following economics terms that we had discussed: good, service, need, want, producer, and consumer.  After they found and labeled each picture example and completed their collage, we inserted a picture of their collage into a Google Docs word document.  Under their pictures, they typed 1-2 sentences for each vocabulary word explaining why their picture was a good example of the vocabulary word.  (Note: I had the students do their explanations in Google Docs because my school has embraced student digital portfolios, and I wanted the students to have this assignment as one of their artifacts.)

Check out what two of my students created below (students worked with a partner for the collage portion of the assignment, but each was responsible for writing his or her own explanation of how the pictures represented the vocabulary words):

Monday, July 7, 2014

Integrating Technology and Science Safety

Hell-ooooooooo blog friends!  I wish I were a more consistent blogger, but I guess I'll need a 12-step for that to happen.  :-)  In the meantime, I've been going on vacation, celebrating weddings and babies (none for me right now :-) ), and a little home improvement here and there.

As I prepare to attend my summer curriculum and technology trainings, my mind has naturally gone to the beginning of a new year.  I have a new technology tool that I've been wanting to try, so I applied it to our first science unit (Our math curriculum is changing again, and integrated language arts and social studies is always evolving, isn't it?  Naturally, science seemed like the logical choice.  :-) ).

My attitude with most technology is that if so many other people can do it, so can I.  So, I searched for a YouTube tutorial, watched it, gathered my science safety resources, and dove right in.  Without further ado, I give you my Science Safety Thinglink (to check out the links I've described, hover over the picture and click "Touch."):

Making this was so simple.  First, I found a google image of a science safety rules poster created using Glogster.  I saved it and imported it into Thinglink.  Next, I added several YouTube science safety videos.  Then I added links to several curriculum resources I had saved in GoogleDocs.  Finally, I searched blogs, Pinterest, and TPT to find additional ideas and products that I might purchase to help me.

I'm so excited that I'll have so many of my digital resources for this unit all together in one place.  That's one less thing I'll have to worry about during the always chaotic beginning of the school year.  I'm glad to have discovered another digital tool and to have found a meaningful way to use it in my classroom.  I can continue to use this app/website to organize my digital resources for teaching units.  I can post them on my class website and/or Edmodo site for students to view again at home or during computer lab time/extra time in class.  Students could even create their own Thinglinks to organize information they have found.  This app/site is clearly full of so much potential.

My hope is that you might find some use for the science safety Thinglink I have created.  If not, I hope that you might have learned about a new app today and/or found the courage to try and make your own Thinglink if you knew about the app already but were a bit hesitant to try it on your own as I was in the past.

Thanks so much for reading!  :-)
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