Two days ago, I posted a couple of documents with QR codes, which lead to ideas for Random Acts of Kindness. These codes could be used as a Christmas countdown, Winter Break countdown, or a way to count the days to any other type of celebration. Yesterday, I posted QR codes to Classroom Coupons. These coupons do not have to be used in any particular order, and there may be some you don’t wish to use at all. Again, they could be used for the above purposes. Or, you could cut them apart and put them on cards in a classroom Treasure Chest, or distribute them as student gifts before the Winter Break. Another way to use them would be to print out the pages to post on a wall, and cross out each code as it gets used.
For yesterday’s QR codes, I used a site called http://www.tagmydoc.com. I highly recommend it, as it will host your document and provide you with a QR code for it (for free). You can even download the document with the QR code stamped on it. HOWEVER, I realized, somewhat late, that my district has blocked this site at the moment – at least through our iDevice network. So, if you encountered the same problem, I apologize. I am busy revising that set of docs so that it will lead to a Weebly site, and will try to post the revision later this week.
Today’s QR codes are for parents to use at home. Personally, I will be using these, along with the Random Acts of Kindness ones, in my daughter’s Christmas countdown calendar. But, you can pass this along to anyone who might want to use it for their own creative ideas. There is a Winter theme, but it is secular. To download, just click on the links below:
I would like to apologize to anyone who has recently downloaded these QR codes. Apparently, tagmydoc only keeps your files for 14 days, unbeknownst to me, if you are using its free service. So, these QR codes will not work. I have posted a new batch at this link: QR Code Classroom Coupons (Revised)
Yesterday, I posted a couple of documents with QR codes, which lead to ideas for Random Acts of Kindness. These codes could be used as a Christmas countdown, Winter Break countdown, or a way to count the days to any other type of celebration. Today, I am posting QR codes to Classroom Coupons. These coupons do not have to be used in any particular order, and there may be some you don’t wish to use at all. Again, they could be used for the above purposes. Or, you could cut them apart and put them on cards in a classroom Treasure Chest, or distribute them as student gifts before the Winter Break. Another way to use them would be to print out the pages to post on a wall, and cross out each code as it gets used. Tomorrow’s codes will be for parents to use at home!
I thought that I would experiment by creating my own countdown calendar for my daughter this year using QR codes. It seems to me, during this busy time of the year, that it might help to remember the power of being kind. So, I have created a countdown calendar of Random Acts of Kindness, using ideas from the website of www.randomactsofkindness.org, a free Weebly website, and a QR code generating site. I anticipated I would be sharing this, so I deliberately made the sites generic. This will allow you to use these codes to count down to any event – the beginning of the holidays, a class celebration, etc… – within 24 days. Since I haven’t used this yet, there may be some mistakes, so please let me know if you find any!
Tomorrow, I will share with you a similar QR code document. Instead of Random Acts of Kindness, however, it will lead the user to different Classroom Reward Coupons.
Many educators already know about BrainPop, a subscription site that offers animated videos on a variety of educational topics. It includes quizzes and downloadable handouts, as well as ideas for lessons. BrainPop is also available as a free app for iOS. For free, one can watch select videos. Recently, BrainPop also made their subscription videos available with this app, so you can log in to that as well on your iDevice. The new feature some of you may not know about, however, is “Game Up“, which is the BrainPop games area. Partnering with a few other websites, BrainPop is continuing to add interactive games which tie in to their videos. They are also offering resources for students and teachers to develop their own games.
I found this example on KB Connected. You can see more examples and find the link to Mr. Zetterberg’s site on her blog post. This idea could easily be modified for higher grades or more advanced students by using more challenging words or asking them to create their own books.
I’m not sure to whom I should attribute this site, but Mini Motivation is a handy tool for posting inspiring quotes during down times on your projector screen. Every time you hit refresh, a new quote comes up. It might be a good activity for high level students to research the quote’s author, explain the quote in his or her own words, find a way to relate it to the current curriculum, explain his or her own opinion, or even illustrate the quote.
Word Sort is one of the many “brain games” offered by Lumosity. In this particular one, cards are revealed one at a time. Each card has a word on it, and the player must determine whether or not the card “follows the rule”. At first, the player has to randomly guess, but should soon see a pattern in the words that fall into the rule-following pile. Once the player is able to correctly classify 6 words in a row, he or she is eligible for the next level. This is a good game for practicing vocabulary and logical reasoning. It would also be a neat idea to extend it further for higher level students by asking them to create their own games with words from the curriculum.
Solitaire Chess Free is a challenging app for iOS. I also mentioned the boardgame that can be purchased at Mindware in my last post. In both versions, the object of the one-player game is to capture all of the pieces on the board until there is only one left. Every move has to result in a capture. This is a nice way for kids to learn the appropriate moves for each of the chess pieces, and to practice thinking ahead. There are increasing levels of difficulty, which means that students can quickly move to the level that best fits their needs.
With the holidays coming up, many parents ask me for educational gifts that I would recommend for their children. “Cart Before the Horse” is one that I would suggest. It is a logic puzzle game that can be played independently or in a small group collaboration (or in a center). It’s for children 8 and up, and comes from www.mindware.com, one of my favorite sources for thinking games and activities. Some other games that I recommend from the site are: Rush Hour, Solitaire Chess, Q-Bitz, Knot So Fast, and Gobblet. These are all games that require logic, strategy, and deductive reasoning – making them great for the classroom or as gifts.
You are probably familiar with the “Talking” apps. There are a variety that are available for free, and work on iPhone, iTouch, and iPad. This particular one is only compatible with the iPad at the moment, and is free (though there is an offer for an in-app purchase). My Multimedia club students had fun playing around with the app to deliver some Thanksgiving Jokes on our school news, which is a video broadcast. They recorded the jokes, then sent them to the computer, where, once the MOV file was converted to WMV (with a little help from Zamzar), we were able to add music and subtitles. If you are not crazy about all of those complicated steps, don’t worry. You can just record and e-mail it. We have not had a chance to use one of the coolest features of this app, which allows you to insert a video from your iPad on which Tom and Ben can comment. This offers a lot of learning opportunities in which students can explain some of their own homemade videos. (Example: Imagine, “This just in – Allison figured out how to solve 13 times 14!”)
Here is a sample of our jokes from our video club: