Friday, November 6, 2015

QR Codes in the Classroom

Hi! My name is Carolyn Kisloski, from Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together. Today I'm going to share one of the activities my class is loving right now- QR codes!  I had seen QR codes before, but didn't know anything about them.  Then, I took a class about making and using QR codes, and thought maybe I could use them, but I thought making them would be tricky.

If you would like to make some of your own, it's really easy. If I can do it, well then... you know you can! They are a great technology teaching tool to use in your classroom, or even for students to use at home.

Here's a quick little tutorial.  I will use Youtube videos as examples, because that's what I have used. You can also use links to sites, online books, or documents.

  1. First, choose a Youtube video that you'd like to use for your activity.  Let's use Finger Plays with Dr. Jean .
  2. Copy the link to the Youtube video.  
  3. You can also run this video through Viewpure or SafeShare if you want to get rid of ads for your kids. I run all of my videos through Viewpure. When I make QR codes, I have 3 windows open- Youtube, Viewpure, and QR Stuff.  Copy the link from Youtube, then  go to  Viewpure, paste in the copied Youtube link, and it will purify it for you.  
  4. Copy that NEW link from Viewpure (to put into the QR code generator.)
  5. Next, go to a free QR code generator.  I like QR Stuff. com.  It's easy to use because you just follow the easy steps. It looks like this:

  •  Choose the Data Type.  I click "Youtube video." 
  •  Under Content,  paste the video URL in the Video URL box. 
  •  Choose the color that you would like your QR code to be.
  •  Download the QR code, and save it.  I save it as a photo, then it's ready to use! 

Scanning this code will take you right to the video, Finger Plays with Dr. Jean 1 .
       6. Copy and paste the QR code onto a document and make anything you want with it. Ta da!

I made several QR packets for my class.  Here are the packets I've made:

This is my Math QR Code Packet.  It has 40 math songs to reinforce the skills we learn in kindergarten. My kids love using this for a center activity.

Although it's fun to sing these songs as a whole group, sometimes when the children can really listen to the words and sing along on their own, the meaning of the songs sinks in even better, and the learning happens like magic.

I just finished my Alphabet QR Code Packet. I made a QR code for 5 video songs for each letter of the alphabet- one from ABC Mouse, Have Fun Teaching, Sesame Street Podcast, Storybots, and KidsTV123. Each of those songs is SO great for teaching and reinforcing letters and sounds, that I wanted to include them all.   I also included 16 other great alphabet and phonics songs. 


I've been working on this for a long time. I've been taking in parts of it for the kids to use as I finish and they're loving it.  

I have several students who just plain need those letters and sounds reinforced whenever and however they can be!  I'm sending one letter page home a night (from the letters I know my certain kids need extra help with), at different times, for the kids to listen to at home. They are having so much fun with this!  I sent a note home to the parents explaining that they could download a free QR code reader app- and they've been having a ball.  I figure it's one more way for them to see those letters over and over. 

I also made a Kindergarten Sight Words Packet.
I made 36 sight word cards, each with a QR code that links to a video to go with that word. The words I included are: a, all, am, an and, are, at, be, can, come, do, for, get, go, he, I, in, is, it, like, look, me, my, no, of, off, on, see, she, the, to, up, we, what, who, with.

I also made 12 cards with QR codes that link to sight word songs which have lots of sight words. This picture shows some of the words with the codes and some of the songs with the codes:

I made a recording sheet to use if you want, that you can print front/back to make it easier to manage for the children.

You could also print these sight word cards out and send them home for extra practice at home.
Parents can download the free QR app and watch the videos at home!

My kids even ask to use these books during free choice time! It can be used as a Read the Room activity, or made into a book.  I made two different sizes, so the Read the Room cards are bigger if you want that. I did both, and I think I like using it as a book best. My main reason is because the kids have a place for the iPad and aren't trying to hold it as they stand to read the room and watch the videos.

Because... sometimes they like to dance to the songs, and it's safer to have a table for those iPads!

Usually, iPads are a "quiet center."  But for this, the kids can't help singing along a little.


Sometimes, a little singing along isn't even enough. It requires a dance...  And sometimes the "quiet center" idea has to go out the window, and you just have to let them dance when they are THAT excited about learning to spell sight words.

We sing these songs together as a class, but what I really like about using the iPads to listen to these songs, is that the kids really focus on the words to the song- and reading and spelling those sight words.

This next packet is my Writing Prompts with QR Codes.
I  love using writing prompts with my students. Writing prompts provide such great insight into students' thinking as they make connections to the books that we read.  They provide perfect opportunities for authentic, purposeful writing, and they are a great way to meet the CCSS for ELA.

I made 160 writing prompts for 102 different stories.  I put a QR code for each story read aloud right on the writing prompt, so that the children can take it home, scan the code,  and listen to the story again and again!  I also put the QR Codes together at the end of the packet, so they can be made into Listening Centers.   I also have a packet of only QR Codes for the 102 Stories. 

I just wrote a note home to parents explaining that they could download any free QR code reader and access the stories on the papers!

This packet has so many stories to choose from, that I am making different books of Listen Center Stories to use throughout the year.

To start the year, I printed off the stories that had to do with colors and made a Color Book of QR codes.  I actually couldn't believe how many stories I had about colors!

 (I made a realllllly fancy cover for mine... but it serves the purpose. They want to get to what's inside!)

Some weeks, I am going to hang up  QR codes around the room for the children to "Read the Room" with their iPad for center time.

I made a variety of types of writing prompts.  Some require more writing than others.  Some are drawings with just  a little writing.  It's fun to see the children grow with these throughout the year- and into first grade!  In first grade, they write more and add more to the answers.

I also made a packet with 100 MORE- totally different- stories featuring 8 authors.

This packet also includes my Authors Prezi!  The Prezi is perfect for introducing an author and showing clips and interviews to the whole class when we learn about each author.

My favorite QR Code app is called QR Reader for iPad by TapMedia Ltd. It is free, and the thing I like best about it is that to scan the code, the children only have to hold the camera over the code- not click anything.

It is really sensitive and picks up the code quickly so it isn't frustrating at all. Here is one of my sweeties showing how to use it:

Have fun making some QR codes of your own.  Thank you for letting me share with you today!

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