Monday, July 30, 2012

QR Codes

I am going to share some fun ideas for how I have used QR codes in the classroom.  If you haven't heard of them before, please Google for the actual definition.  That's not nearly as much fun as just getting to the good stuff. 

I use QR STUFF to make all my QR codes.
Step 1:  Select PLAIN TEXT 
Step 2:  Type your text in the CONTENT box (this is what will be revealed when you scan the code)
Step 3:  Download the code (under the picture of the QR code)
Step 4:  Copy and paste the code into a Word document for printing
(you may want to write out your questions and answers first because you can't print them from this site)

Good?  It is actually pretty easy.  Okay, next....

I only have ONE iPad for my class.  Yes, it is my personal iPad, but the kids are respectful with it because they know I will not let them use it if they are not.  So this particular game is QR tic-tac-toe.  I use it in my guided reading groups.  Since I only have one iPad, I have to cut the QR codes apart so they can be scanned because once I set this up, I don't allow the students to move it.  If you have an iPod Touch you could leave it all on one paper.  You can also color code these as you differentiate questions for each of your groups.  You will need to download a QR reader app on your device.  Mine is Qrafter.  Did I mention that making QR codes and the readers are free? 

I put the kids on teams of two or three, depending on how many are in my group. Each person on the team will get a chance to pick a QR code, scan it and answer the question.  

If the student is correct, he marks his spot on the game board with a token or marker.  Three in a row/diagonal is the winning team!  The questions I use are based on vocabulary, reading comprehension, strategies, grammar, and spelling patterns for the week.  This can be adapted for any subject.   

Another idea for using the QR code, is making a VCARD.  A VCARD is similar to a contact in your digital phone book.  You can go the QR stuff and select CONTACT DETAILS, fill it in, and copy the code.  Post it in your room for Meet the Teacher or Open House and parents can scan it with their smart phone.  The information will go directly into their contact list without having to type it themselves.  You can also post the same QR code on the bottom of your newsletter or business cards.

Hope you enjoy these ideas.  QR codes are a little time consuming to make, but they are a lot of fun and can be reused from year to year.  Please leave me a comment and follow my blog.  I have to admit I got a little excited today when I hit 10 followers!  Thank you all for your labor of love!  You rock!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

TAG! You're It! Writing

I saw a wonderful idea for writing on Pinterest - shared writing journals.  So I bought some journals and put topic covers on them, which I got from some wonderful blog that I can't remember.  The only name attached to the file was Megan.  So if you are Megan, thank you for sharing your journal covers.  They are great!  

Here are the materials I used to make the journals and the holder for them.  That is what the iced coffee box is for.  Once you get to know me, you will quickly see that I love iced coffee! 
While I like the idea, I couldn't figure out how to correct them for the individual student when everyone in the class would be writing in the same journal.  Solution - TAG!  Of course this is another idea I saw on Pinterest.  I retyped it to match my center and created a TAG! sheet to go with the sign.  The gist is that the students will write in the journal during centers, read another student's journal, and fill out a TAG! sheet.  The students will be communicating with each other about their writing.  The students will be reading, writing, comprehending, problem solving, and looking for convention errors.  You can download the TAG! sign and sheet by clicking the picture.  Please leave a comment if you download.  Also, follow my blog and leave your blog address so I can visit.   

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Boys love Legos! At least my son does! When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I was thrilled! You type the weeks words on labels (fit two on an Avery 5160), stick them on real Legos (medium size ones), then let the students at it! They will put the blocks in ABC order and once they have them correct, write them on the recording sheet below! I can't wait to use this as one of my stations.  Click the picture if you want a copy.  Thanks for looking!  Please help a new teacher out by following me so I can learn some great ideas from you.  I would love to read your comments too. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012


After much frustration, which can come with learning something new, I finally have my freebies ready for you. 
This is my first attempt at creating things for my classroom, which is jungle themed. Thanks to many of you, I have learned a lot. Here goes...first one is a sign I am going to use above my agenda cards.

Next are center signs.  Everyone calls centers something different...stations...centers...since I have jungle theme, mine are safaris. 

This one is for anyone who uses the "give me 5" signal to get your classes' attention.  I love this strategy because if you use it consistently the kids will respond.  I use it in a noisy cafeteria when picking up my students.  I just raise my hand and they respond by lining up quietly with their hand raised.  Then when you are in the classroom where it is quieter, you just raise your hand and say "give me 5."  Again, they respond immediately by stopping what they are doing following the five rules and waiting for instructions. 

I don't sell anything I make, but I would love to hear from you if you download any of these.  I am still learning so I know these aren't as fabulous as some of the more experienced creators, but everyone has to start somewhere.  I hope you find them useful.  If you want to "teach" me something about creating pdf's, please leave a comment.  I would love to learn more.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wonderful Tickets!

I got this idea from my son's second grade teacher.  I put my own spin on it from some ideas I saw on Pinterest.  During the week, students may earn Wonderful Tickets for whatever you want to reward them for.  It could be that he gave a wonderful answer, showed kind deeds towards a classmate, did exceptionally well on an assignment, followed get the point.  So at the time you award the ticket, the student will write their name on it and drop it in the barrel.  I use a large clear Cheetos Ball container I got from Sam's Club.  Then anytime throughout the week that you need to encourage good behavior, draw a couple of tickets and allow those students to mark one of the rewards on the back.  You collect and throw it away once the reward has been redeemed.  Click the picture to download the Wonderful Tickets.  I plan to post the mini award posters soon, so check back.  Hope you find this useful.
Click picture to get Wonderful Ticket download.

I can't wait to figure out how to make my own printables!

Yikes, it's almost lunch time!  I am embarrassed to say how long I have been in "blog land" this morning.  However, I am excited about all the things I have been learning.  I have been watching tutorials about how to work with thanks to Angelia over at Extra Special Teaching.  I also found some great font and backgrounds at some sites that were linked to some wonderful blogs, but I can't remember them right now.  There is so much information out there and so many talented people!  Right now I have all these pieces of information in my head that I need to put together so I can start creating some printables.  I have a few things started and as soon as I get them finished, I will post for you.   

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

RockStar Listening Center

I bought a new toy for my classroom!  I enjoy technology, so I bought a Belkin RockStar.  My plan is to use it for the listening center.  You can connect up to five headphones along with an iPod.  It is family tested for right now and worked really well.  I am hoping it will work as well in the classroom.  Lucky for me, I have a teenager so I inherited her "old" iPod when she got a newer one.