Tag Archives: QR codes

LMS Blog Challenge: Interactive Bulletin Boards

So, lesson learned – never beat Laura Moore in a small little Twitter kerfluffle unless you’re ready for a bigger challenge.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Laura and I fought over who would blog about Lisa Johnson’s most recent amazing contribution to teachers everywhere – Customized Padlet backgrounds.  Laura countered with her own post yesterday, and she has thrown down the gauntlet.  Here is her challenge: “What is one idea worth stealing that made you a better educator/blogger? Share your experience through a blog post, tweet, or whatever platform you prefer. Make sure to pass on the challenge so we can all benefit from new knowledge. Use the #LMSchallenge. GO.” (By the way, her blog is “Learn Moore Stuff.”  Hence, the LMS.)

Do I steal stuff?  You bet I do!  I try my best to give credit where it’s due, but sometimes I don’t even know where an idea originated.  If you want to see a list of the people I regularly steal from, check out my Engaging Educators page :)

As I tweeted to Laura, the hard part is choosing just one thing I’ve stolen! As you can see from the title of this post, though, I’m going with the idea of interactive bulletin boards.

I hate doing bulletin boards.  But I love showcasing student work.  When I read this article by Sylvia Tolisano on the Langwitches blog, I got a seed of an idea – to use QR codes with art.  But I feel less guilty about stealing ideas if I kick them up a notch.  So, the result was a bulletin board with poetry, art, QR codes, a quiz, and an opportunity for student feedback.  Students were invited to guess which piece of poetry matched which artwork.  Then they could scan the QR codes and listen to an audio file to see if they were right.  Finally, they could scan a 2nd QR code that took them to a Google Form where they could vote on their favorite one.  You can find more details in this guest post that I did on Richard Byrne’s blog.

Of course, that led me to more interactive exhibitions, like ones that use the augmented reality app, Aurasma (which I stole from Richard Byrne).  In this post, I mention one of my favorite activities, where the students made videos of themselves in snow globes to go with a writing piece. (If you want some more augmented reality ideas, check out my page of resources here.)

Thanks to all of the people who share their ideas, because I would be an awfully boring teacher without them!

And now I must challenge three more people to carry the baton. Joelle Trayers, Brad Gustafson, and Todd Nesloney – consider yourselves tapped!  Follow Laura’s instructions above to share the ill-gotten gains that make you such great educators!

Don’t Leave it to the Goonies

treasuremap

I have been devoting this week to ways to engage young minds over the summer.  Here is the breakdown so far: Camp Wonderopolis, Maker Camp, Making Movies.  Last summer, I also did a series of posts on avoiding the “summer slide”, and you can access all of those links, including a ton of suggestions for using the ubiquitous pool noodle, here.

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite movies of all time is The Goonies.  I think it appeals to the inner child in all of us – the quest for adventure and the ability to figure out the answers to diabolical clues.  Of course, we don’t want to expose our children to the danger faced by the movie characters.  But we can still give them a taste of the fun – and even join in on it, too.  Here are some various levels of “hunts” that might get the entire family involved:

Make Your Own

  • Klikaklu – You can use this iOS app to create scavenger hunts that are triggered by images you choose.
  • QR Codes – You can use this easy QR Treasure Hunt Generator  to develop a fun mission for any child with access to a mobile device that has a QR code scanning app.
  • GeoSettr - You can create a fun geography challenge using this web-based site that utilizes Google Street View and GeoGssr.

Provided For You

  • Geocaching – If you have not tried this free adventure that is fun for the whole family, I highly encourage you to give it a try.  It will get you outside, and you will often learn more about the area that you are in than you ever realized you didn’t know!  For a great introduction to this sport, I recommend: “How to Have a Family Treasure Hunt: Geocaching with Kids.”
  • Brain Chase – This is not free ($199), but looks quite intriguing.  It’s an innovative concept from some parents based in Austin, Texas, but it is designed to be global.  According to the site, Brain Chase is “a 6-week summer learning challenge disguised as a massive global treasure hunt for 2nd−8th graders. A golden globe has been buried somewhere on earth – and it contains the key to a safe deposit box holding a $10,000 college scholarship fund.”  Because it’s new (and $199), I have no experience with it.  If you participate, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Remember, it doesn’t have to be up to the adults to create the fun.  Older children enjoy creating scavenger hunts just as much as participating in them!  Just make sure you go over internet safety as well as outdoor safety (particularly if you are geocaching – we were attacked by a turkey vulture guarding her eggs one time when we poked around in a hollow tree!) before the exploring commences!

 

Genius Hour Challenge Cards for Levels 3-5

level5challengecardlogo

Update:  *As of 1/2/14, you can now download all of my current Genius Hour resources in a bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers for $5.  Or, you can still download them separately (for free) by clicking on the links below.

This is a continuation from yesterday’s post regarding Genius Hour Challenge Cards.  I shared the ones I created for Levels 1 and 2 in the previous post.

Here is the explanation I gave yesterday:

My students will be using Level 1 and Level 2 cards to get a challenge each Genius Hour OR they will choose from Level 3 or Level 4, which will be longer challenges designed to be used for an entire Genius Hour project.  They will earn points toward leveling up in my classroom if they satisfactorily complete the challenges – or lose points if they do not.

Because I know that many of you do not have devices for scanning QR codes, I included a set of cards that have the actual directions on them for each Level.  I also included a blank version in MS Word for each level – in case you want to make your own.

I also added a Level 5, which has some super difficult challenges.

Please feel free to visit the Genius Hour Resources page if you are interested in more information or downloadable materials.

Challenge Card Answers (PDF, Levels 1-5)

Level Three QR Code Cards (PDF)

Level Three Text Cards (PDF)

Level Three Blank Cards (MS Word)

Level 4 QR Code Cards (PDF)

Level Four Text Cards (PDF)

Level Four Blank Cards (MS Word)

Level Five QR Code Cards (PDF)

Level Five Text Cards (PDF)

Level Five Blank Cards (MS Word)

Genius Hour Challenge Cards for Levels 1 and 2

level1challengecardlogo

Update:  *As of 1/2/14, you can now download all of my current Genius Hour resources in a bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers for $5.  Or, you can still download them separately (for free) by clicking on the links below.

As I mentioned last week, I have been toying with the idea of having the students choose Challenge Cards during Genius Hour in order to throw some unpredictable problem solving in their paths.  I listed some of my ideas for challenges, and got a couple of new ones from Nancy (thanks, Nancy!) on the Padlet wall (which is still open to your suggestions).  I worked last night on creating some printable challenge cards for Levels 1 and 2.  I hope to present you with Levels 3 and 4 tomorrow.

For those of you interested in creating your own, I used Flaming Text to create the Harry Potter-ish text on the cards.  In the interest of time, I went with simple QR codes from QR Code Generator.  I had already created a Weebly site for my Genius Hour resources, so I created a page for each card’s directions, and hid the pages in the navigation menu.

My students will be using Level 1 and Level 2 cards to get a challenge each Genius Hour OR they will choose from Level 3 or Level 4, which will be longer challenges designed to be used for an entire Genius Hour project.  They will earn points toward leveling up in my classroom if they satisfactorily complete the challenges – or lose points if they do not.

Because I know that many of you do not have devices for scanning QR codes, I included a set of cards that have the actual directions on them for each Level.  I also included a blank version in MS Word for each level – in case you want to make your own.

UPDATE:  Challenge Cards for Levels 3-5 have been posted here.  Also, you can view all Genius Hour Resources here.

Level One QR Code Cards (PDF)

Level One Text Cards (PDF)

Level One Blank Cards (MS Word)

Level Two QR Code Cards (PDF)

Level Two Text Cards (PDF)

Level Two Blank Cards (MS Word)

Genius Hour Bookmarks

Genius Hour Bookmarks

IMPORTANT UPDATE – The previous Genius Hour Bookmark QR Codes stopped working, as the host site does not appear to be online any longer.  I have updated the bookmarks as of 1/1/14.  Please let me know if you have any problems!

2nd IMPORTANT UPDATE:  *As of 1/2/14, you can now download all of my current Genius Hour resources in a bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers for $5.  Or, you can still download them separately (for free) by clicking on the links below.

One of the things that is difficult about getting kids started on a Genius Hour project is getting them started on a Genius Hour project!  Giving them the freedom to choose anything under the sun to study seems to be a little overwhelming.  Even when you try to start with brainstorming their interests, they tend to be stymied by the concept of developing their own projects and not being assigned particular topics.

I’ve tasked myself this summer with my own Genius Hour project, in a way – to freshen up my resources for Genius Hour.  Yesterday, I spent awhile collecting the “go to” websites I’ve been offering my students in the last year for jumpstarting their engines.  Rather than give them a list, however, I decided to make the bookmarks that I have linked below.  The bookmarks have QR codes to each of the sites.

My vision is to print them out in color, laminate them, and cut them out.  (I will need to do a test run to make sure the codes still scan once laminated.)  I might have the students choose one based on the title (Investigate, Create, Test, Make), or just put them all in a cup and have them select blindly the first time.  Then they can scan each code and look at the sites for ideas.

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of resources.  And, if a student has an idea that is not on one of the websites, I will probably jump for joy, but it will hopefully show them some of the possibilities.

I am sharing links to the QR code page as well as one that has the links printed on it so you can see the website addresses (just in case scanning does not work).

By the way, my daughter just asked me for the distinction between “Create” and “Make.”  I got the idea for the titles from this excellent post on how to introduce Genius Hour (H/T to Donna L. for the link!), though I modified them a bit, and my answer to her was that “Create” means to make something original such as artwork, and “Make” means to construct something according to directions.

Genius Hour Bookmarks With Links

QR Code Genius Hour Bookmarks

Need more Genius Hour ideas?  Check out my Genius Hour Resources page or the other posts from this week.

Some More Activities for the End of the School Year

Here are a couple more technology integration ideas for the end of the school year:

QR Code Year-End Reflection – You can read more about this tic-tac-toe reflection activity in my post from last year around this time.  It isn’t anything showy, but a nice way to round out the year, and the students always love the added mystery of scanning QR codes.

Thinglink Favorite Memories – I have been meaning to use Thinglink with my students all year, and finally got around to trying it – right when they are about to leave.  I’m not sure this idea is original, but my brain seemed to think it was a great idea at one o’clock Monday morning.  I took a class photo of my 2nd grade gifted students, and then asked them to each share a favorite memory from their years in GT so far.  Then I uploaded the pic to Thinglink and uploaded the videos to my Google account.  I tagged each of the kids in the pic with their video.   I embedded it into our class blog, and now the parents have a nice, interactive photo that won’t take up any closet space.  Here is a link to the post.

Below is a neat Thinglink example I found of suggested iPad apps.

QR Code Riddles

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 9.32.32 PM

I came across these QR code riddles for May on The Techie Teacher Blog, and tried them with my gifted 1st graders yesterday.  We had not done any QR code scanning this year, yet, so it was a novel experience for them.  I showed them the riddles first, and had them predict the answers in groups.  Then I put a page at each table, and let them go around and scan the answers.  They loved them, but it was good we “reflected” over them afterwards, as some of the puns needed to be explained.  Thanks, Julie Goode, for providing this fun learning activity for free!