iPad Updates AND QR Codes!

Doceri

Doceri

Welcome back to our adventure!

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about us starting our 1:1 iPad adventure this year! {If you missed that post, CHECK IT OUT HERE!}

This post will show a glimpse into us using our iPads during phonics time, as well as how I’ve been using QR codes!

Writing

Writing

Sometimes we use iPads as a basic white board substitution. For those of you who are all things “SAMR“, I’m talking about the “substitution” level of the continuum. Those of you who need a refresher, check out my post about SAMR here 😉

Doceri

Doceri

One of our most used/loved app is Doceri. I’ve posted about it TONS (just search Doceri along the right hand side of this blog, and you’ll find so many posts!)

dOCERI

Doceri

I love that the kids are already exploring all the inner-workings of the app, including changing the colors by using the color palette.

Doceri

Doceri

Doceri can be applied in MANY different ways, taking it anywhere along the SAMR continuum, but for the first few weeks of school, we are reviewing the letters and sounds of the alphabet. On this day, we were practicing “Q”. You can see in the first few pictures the students using the iPad to write the letter. It’s simple, quick, and motivating 🙂

QR stands for quick response. QR codes are on anything and everything  They can link to websites, QR voice, videos, pictures, words, etc. QR codes are really one of the easiest things to make yourself or use in the classroom with kids.

You really only need: a QR code reader (there are a variety of free apps) and some type of device to use the app on!

QR Codes

QR Codes

One way we use QR codes in our classroom are to review our sight words. Big shout out to the TpT seller Alma Almazan, who makes this product QR Codes (Scan it, Read it, Find it, Write it). I. JUST. LOVE. IT.

It comes in English and Spanish. One page is filled with QR codes, the only gives the kids writing lines. They scan QR code number one.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

And the QR code links them to a page that shows a sight word. They write that word down on line number one.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

It’s so much fun! It’s an awesome review for the kids and so much fun for them to complete!

We’ve been doing this on Fridays as an engaging review. After, the kids have been picking up a QR code story to listen to.

QR Code stories

QR Code stories

This comes right from ANOTHER TpT seller, “TECHing it up”, who makes this product which links kids to the Storyline Online stories. These are stories you can play from a computer or device that are books read by famous actors/actress’.

QR Codes stories

QR Codes stories

QR Codes stories

QR Codes stories

It’s another great way we use QR codes in the room.

It’s also a great thing for your early finishers to do while the other kids are finishing up their work {SIDE NOTE- This is ALSO what my kids use for Listen to Reading during our Daily 5 time}

Thank you for checking out all the ways we we’ve been using QR codes so far. We are having such a fun adventure in first grade 🙂

 

QR Code to Differentiation

It’s been an embarrassing amount of time since I’ve posted last…. I don’t really have any excuses for this, except I’ve been busy with this….

Hello!

Hello!

and busy with this…

Monkeys!

Monkeys!

and busy with this….

Movie!

Movie!

and in general, busy with this….

Math

Math

Math

Math

Writing

Writing

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO…..

We are just going to jump back in and get into one of the special things we’ve been doing lately in first grade: QR Codes to differentiate.

QR Code Differentiation

QR Code Differentiation

Ok, we all know what QR codes are. If you still haven’t made a QR code or are nervous about making one, please take my advice and START! It couldn’t be easier and the possibilities are endless {Some of my favorite ways to use QR codes are Vocaroo, for kids to record their own voices and turn into QR codes. Also, I love making QR codes linking QRVoice for directions}

A few months ago, I attended the ICE conference, a technology conference in the Midwest for teachers. I learned a lot, but my favorite thing was using colored QR codes to help students differentiate their learning.

On some QR code making websites, you can easily change the color of the QR code. After you link the website, picture, or voice recording you want to make into the QR code, you have the option to change the color of the code itself.

Here’s how I used this technique in my room to differentiate. 

We were learning about light waves, the basic idea being that light moves in a straight line. This was the central idea that I wanted all the students to understand. We were also beginning to learn that light will only change directions if it’s reflected.

As it often is in a first grade room, there are ability levels across the board. And as it more often is, it can be very difficult to teach to all these different levels at the same time.

After a few days into the unit, I wanted to design an activity where some students were able to focus on the basic idea of the unit, where some students were able to move on to how light is reflected, and where some students were able to apply that knowledge to a new situation. In doing so, I would be able to  tackle the challenge of how to target specific ability levels by controlling the type of question and responses I wanted the students to have.

QR Codes

QR Codes

I grouped the kids into 3 different levels: beginning, middle, and accelerating. In this particular activity, we were differentiating based the content. The topic was all the same (light), but the specific ideas or content was altered to meet the kids levels. The kids names were under a specific colored QR code, with each group having a different worksheet.

QR Codes

QR Codes

The kids came up and scanned the specific QR code with their name on it. They sat with the other students who also had the same color as them.

The students who were at the basic level (and whose focus was on how light moves) saw this picture when they scanned their QR code, which helped enforce the idea that light moves in straight lines.

Level 1

Level 1

The students were were at a middle level and beginning to understand the idea that light can change direction by being reflected saw this when they scanned, which enforced the idea that light can change directions when it’s reflected.

Reflection

Reflection

And the accelerated group, who were posed the question “How can light help us solve problems?” were shown this, light being reflected multiple times to light a plant on the ground.

Reflection

Reflection

The students worksheets corresponded to their pictures. The kids worked with their color teams to answer the question they were asked, which related to their pictures.

Worksheets

Worksheets

Worksheets

Worksheets

Worksheets

Worksheets

Worksheets

Worksheets

In the same activity, there were three different things happening, but all the kids were still learning about light. Some students were re-learning, some students were practicing a new idea, and some students were being challenged to apply their knowledge and explain a new situation.

In all, it was a great activity! It was simple enough to plan and this concept can be applied to any subject. You just need to pick the idea and change it for the students who need to relearn it, the students who need to practice it, and the students who have mastered it and can move on.

What’s also great is that it allows each level of student to feel confident in their own learning. My students working on the basic level had pride in their work because they were able to share their own ideas to the class. Because they were working at their own levels, they were able to understand the material and had ownership of the information. The same goes for the other groups. The kids were able to share with kids from different color groups and learn from each other.

Having fun!

Having fun!

I love using QR codes (just search QR Codes on this blog and you’ll find TONS of other posts I’ve made about my obsession with them) and I hope you can try this idea in your class as well!

Thanks for checking in on our adventure! Be sure to check back soon- and I’ll try to post again this week! 🙂

 

 

QR Codes and Grammar

Good morning, good morning! It’s Thursday, but I’m sitting at home on the couch, snuggling with one of the puppies, and watching reruns on TV. Not because I’m sick, but because it’s Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. I love the food, seeing family, and watching the parade. But mostly I love this time of the year and the holiday season that follows. Thanksgiving is like the big kick-off! It’s also a time to reflect on things your thankful for. And while obviously I am beyond thankful for all the important people in my life, all the great things I have, my new item to that list is….. I’m thankful for being able to explore and use iPads 1:1 with my students this year!

 

My classroom family

My classroom family

I spend my whole day with these amazing kiddlets and I am continually amazed at all they can do. Being 1:1, I’ve noticed that one of the best ways to introduce a new app or activity is just to present it to them, and then let them explore it for 5 minutes first. As I sit and listen to them during this time, you hear them naturally discover things, ask questions, and help each other. For example, the other day we started exploring Story Kit- an app that is used to make books, write stories, and illustrate them. As the kids were exploring, one of them said out loud, “How do you erase in this?”. Another kid across the room said, “I don’t know!”. Other kids started chiming in and someone said, “I know. You need to go into the color and just use white. The white color erases what you drew.” The first kid said, “Thanks!”. And it was as easy as that. It’s a great example to show how they naturally find out how things work and can problem solve together. I’m thankful for their problem solving skills!

QR CODES

QR stands for quick response and are on literally everything you see. In fact, since I’ve introduced my kids to QR codes, my kids love pointing them out to me on their water bottles, food boxes, crayon boxes, etc. It’s really cute and kind of like a continual scavenger hunt.

QR Codes

QR Codes

When I introduced these to my kids, we first used them during grammar time. We’ve been working on using capital letters for proper nouns. I found this pack on TpT that allows the kids to find mistakes with capitals, scan the QR code, and check their answers. We did this as a class. First we circled the answer we thought was correct, then we’d scan the code and see if we were right.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

It can be a little hard for them to scan the QR code because when they are close together, it’s tough to see if you are scanning the correct one. I taught the kids to point with one finger to the right code, and then make sure they see their finger as they are scanning.

QR Codes

QR Codes

That seems to help a lot with my little ones. They really loved doing this! They thought it was so cool that the answer popped up right away.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR codes can be used in so many different ways. I can’t wait to post about a Tall Tales project we did this past week, which not only incorporated QR codes, but also the app Chatterpix and a craft project.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

Make sure to check back next week to see all about it and more! It’s always an adventure with us and I am thankful for that! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Carle Projects, Writing, and QR Codes

First things first, here are some quick photo updates on what we’ve been doing:

Movies

Movies

Movies

Movies

1. We went to Disney’s Bears last week as a whole school. It was an adorable movie and a really fun experience to go a movie with the entire school. The kids had so much fun!

Movie

Movie

Movie

Movie

Bus

Bus

Movie

Movie

2. We are learning all about life cycles in class- butterflies and plants! So, we’ve been raising caterpillars, who are already chrysalis’, and planting seeds!

Caterpillar Cup

Caterpillar Cup

Plants

Plants

That brings us to our Eric Carle projects.

Brown bea

Brown bea

During our bear unit, we did a mini author study on Eric Carle, specially all of this bear books, including Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Panda Bear, Panda Bear and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, and Baby Bear, Baby Bear. Whew! Did you know there were so many?

We talked a lot about how he illustrates his books. He paints several pieces of paper, all different shades and textures. Then, he cuts out pieces and puts them together to create a picture that is unique.

We created our own Eric Carle bear pictures by doing the same thing! The kids painted papers in various shades of brown. Then they used forks, straws, and paper to texture their papers.

The next day, we cut out the painted paper. To make our projects fun and a variety of shades, we mixed up the pieces we cut out, so everyone had pieces that were from other people. This made the end product fun shades and textures!

Gluing

Gluing

The kids worked to glue together the pieces and add a face.

Bear

Bear

Bear

Bear

Bear

Bear

Bear

Bear

You can see on their desks a writing paper. The day before, we’d used the writing prompt “First Grader, First Graders, what do you see?”, similar to Eric Carle’s books. The kids had so much fun writing about the things they see in our classroom and school.

The bears were glued to their writing papers to make the project.

Project

Project

Project

Project

Project

Project

Project

Project

The best part? Do you see the QR code? When scanned, you will hear that student reading their writing that is shown. WHAT!? Isn’t that just the coolest thing ever? I KNOW 🙂

It’s called vocaroo.

Vocaroo

Vocaroo

It’s a website where students can record themselves talking and turn it into a QR code. When scanned, you hear what was recorded.

The catch- it has to be recorded from a computer, no an iPad. Which isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s something to know. I just called the kids over one at a time and had them read their writing. What’s great is that there is no limit, the kids read their whole writing and it wasn’t cut off at all!

They love being able to scan each others and hear what they say. It was a great project and really fun to make!

Thanks for checking in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Composite Shapes (and a little QR code thrown in)

How could I not include QR codes in this post too? Do you remember my obsession!? 🙂

***YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEETS BY GOING HERE TO MY TPT STORE!***

We are right in the middle of our geometry unit and have spent a few weeks talking,learning,reviewing 2-D and 3-D shapes. After that, we began talking about composite shapes– or putting shapes together to make news shapes or pictures of things.

This practice took a few days and after we’d spent time understanding that putting together shapes can make a new shape, we played a scoot game in small groups to practice the skill.

Enter QR codes!

At each spot, I had a bin of shapes and a QR code that told the group what to do. The students used an iPad and the QR reader app to scan the QR code. When scanned, it read the directions to the students.

Scanning

Scanning

The directions were something like this: “Working as a team, use more than one shape to make a _________”. Some of the spots asked them to make a square, a rectangle, triangle, hexagon, etc. Others stations asked them to make a flower or a house out of the shapes.

Working

Working

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Again, I LOVE QR voice because it allows you to make directions oral in this way. The kids were so engaged when they got to the new rotation and really had to listen to the directions to see what to do.

There favorite spot in the rotation allowed them to make any shape they wanted with the shapes…

Free space!

Free space!

Moving along, the next day the students got a piece of paper and a bin of shapes at each table. I asked them to use their shapes to make a composite shape of a zoo animal. The kids were so excited and got right to work! (I had them glue the recording sheet first so they realized to make their animal fit in the left over space) 🙂

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

What was really cool was that during this building time, one student say “This is a lot like when we made our own constellations“. Exactly! I asked him why he said that and he said “Because constellations don’t look exactly like a picture either, you have to use your imagination, just like with these animals”. Bingo. Ah, what smart first graders I have! 🙂

After the students had their animals built with blocks, I told them to record how many of each shape they used. They counted each shape and wrote the number on the recording paper.

Next, I told them that since we can’t glue those blocks down (groans from the masses), we’d use paper pieces of those shapes and glue them the same way they built their animal. I had the kiddos slide the animal they built off the paper, but still in tact on their desk. That way, they could look at the animal for reference as they built it again with the paper shapes.

They came to the table to retrieve the pieces they needed.

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

For me, it was easier to just have piles of the pieces on the table and the kids came up to get what they needed.

Then they got started gluing their animal together!

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

They looked so good already, didn’t they!?

Well, to take this project over the top, we decided to put these zoo animals in cages- just like they would be at the zoo!

I gave each student a piece of black paper and modeled how to cut thin black strips of paper. They used those strips to glue over their composite animal, just as if the animal were behind the bars in a cage.

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Lastly, they glued two thicker pieces of black paper on the top and the bottom to finish the cage. At the top they wrote the word “Zoo” with a white crayon and at the bottom, they wrote the name of the animal.

They turned out so cute and are hanging outside our classroom. Check them out!

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

I love them all and can’t get over how adorable they are! They also helped us practice using shapes to make composite shapes!

Thanks for checking in! It’s Friday, which means it’s almost weekend time! Have a good one! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QR Code Crazy!

Warning: I predict that the next few posts I write will all contain QR codes in some way. I’ve found QR Voice and I am  slightly addicted.

Hi, my name is Ms. Tasch and I’m addicted to QR voice.

Admitting it is the first step, right? 🙂

But first, here’s a slight look at other things I’m loving right now:

1. I mean… c’mon! How adorable is my nephew! I watched him a couple of weeks ago and  always enjoy spending time with that little munchkin.

Lucas

Lucas

2. Last weekend, the fiancé and I walked around a local downtown area by the lake. It was such a beautiful day (finally!) and we spent a few hours roaming in and out of stores. One of my favorites was a canning store that was also a bakery. As soon as we walked in and the smell hit us, I knew I loved this place. I also knew we wouldn’t be leaving empty handed! While we didn’t get one of those delicious looking Peep cookies below, we did leave with a mini pecan pie (called a Cutie Pie) and a toasted coconut bar- yum!

Peeps!

Peeps!

3. Before that adventure, we took time out to meet up with my sister-in-law and nieces for a walk around a local forest preserve. The adults kids and dogs all needed to get out of the house and run around! I love walks and it was the perfect day for one!

Walking!

Walking!

Finally….. QR codes!

What?

You knew it was coming- I’d already warned you! 🙂

Looking at Pinterest one day, I saw a pin about using QR codes for kids to practice math. Hmm, I thought…. I’ve only ever used QR codes to take you a certain website. I was intrigued and clicked on the link, which brought me to my new addiction: qrvoice.net or QR Voice if you are searching for it.

Now, maybe I’ve been living under a rock and missed all the coolness of this, but if you are like me, here’s a breakdown of how it works:

You go to the website and type in a word, phrase, or sentence and it will create a QR code for you. All you have to do is copy and paste that code into a worksheet. When the students scan that code, it will say the word, phrase, or sentence you wanted! Amazing right!?

Well I definitely thought so and quickly created a hidden shapes review for my first graders!

Worksheet

Worksheet

First, there is a QR code, or the clue for the shape. The students worked together in small groups to scan the code. They had to be good listeners and hear what shape it was.

In the next box, the answer box, they had to write the name of the shape they heard when they scanned the code.

Finally, they had to draw a picture of the shape in the last box.

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

I can’t say enough how much we all loved this!

It was exciting for the kids and exciting for me…. ok maybe a little too exciting for me- I never knew this was possible!

Finding the hidden shapes

Finding the hidden shapes

I’m already thinking of all the different ways to use QR voice. And as I said, be prepared to see them on here! 🙂

I’ve already created a rotating scoot game with composite shapes where students scan the code to hear the directions. And in sharing with a colleague, she wondered if it is possible to record students saying something and make a QR code for that. After searching- this is possible! By recording a student, emailing the file to yourself, uploading it to a Dropbox or website, you can create a QR code for that file. When scanned, you’ll hear the student talking!

Ah, I am in love with QR voice! The possibilities are endless.

Happy Tuesday 🙂

 

P.S. I almost forgot…. I uploaded these files to TpT for FREE! Check out the link: QR Codes {Hidden Shapes} or look at the right hand side for my TpT store!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Participation- Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down

Hello, hello and welcome to a beautiful Tuesday morning! I have plans later today to meet my mom and sisters to pick up part of my wedding dress (the belt!) and go out for lunch. The weather is great here today and I’m very excited 🙂

What I’ve been up to…

Yesterday, my oldest sister and I (and baby Lucas) went to O’hare to pick up my other sister and her husband. They’ve been in Asia for the past couple weeks and it was great seeing them and hearing about their trip. Here’s the pic I snapped of them in the car ride back to Chipotle home.

 

Welcome home!

Welcome home!


We went back to their house and spent a lot of time playing with this little man…


Nap time!

Nap time!



Isn’t he getting so big!? (And such a cutie! 🙂 )

What I’ve been up to (school wise)…

I’m really trying to enjoy these last few weeks of summer because August 15th is going to creep up on me before I know it. I went into school last week to see my new classroom (we got a very large new addition put on during last school year and I’m LUCKY enough to have a brand new classroom in that wing!) It was more than I could have ever imagined and right after leaving the school, I went straight to the teaching store to get some things laminated that I’d been working on.

QR Codes

I’ve become obsessed about QR codes (QR codes are those black pixel box thingys- I’m very technical- that you can scan with your phone or iPad that bring you directly to the site. QR stands for quick response. You can download a free app called “QRreader” to scan these things.)

My sister-in-law had gone to a conference a while back and told me about how they had given the teachers several ideas on how to use them in the classroom. Of course I took this information and stole it used it in some different ways.

QR code

QR code

Here’s an example of a QR code I made. I always start the school year off by talking to the kids about what they want to be when they grow up, and from there we talk about how they will get to this through working hard, staying in school, and going to college. I made this QR code over a picture of the college I went to to display with our projects they will make. When scanned, it will take you right to UWW’s website.

Making QR codes could not be easier. I don’t know what I expected, but I thought it would be hard… well, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t! After some quick searching, I found 2 easy, fun websites.

QR maker

QR maker is a very easy, straightforward website. It walks you through the steps, 1 being selecting the type of media it is, 2 being entering the URL, and 3 being downloading the code it makes. It’s that easy!

QR maker with picture

This QR maker is slightly (and I mean only slightly) harder to do, but it’s the one I used above with the picture in the background. With this one you need to create an account or login with Facebook. Then the process is the same (choose media type and enter URL) until the next page. It will give you tons of different pictures you can use as a background or you can upload your own. All I did was go to the UWW website, save one of their pictures to my computer, and then upload it on this website. After you’ve got the picture you want, you can drag, re-size, and move the QR code anywhere you want on the background picture. Click “generate”, then “next”, and you’re done! This site gives you the option to pay for a better quality one, but I’ve used the free one several times and it always look just fine to me!

I’m thinking I’m going to QR code this blog for my parents on newsletters and also send home other QR codes on websites I want them to visit at home. Many of my students don’t have computers at home, but all their parents or family members have phones that can scan! I’m thinking of making codes for YouTube videos on letters or sounds I want them to practice or other games they can use at home!

Total Participation- Thumbs Up and Down

At our school, we always read a book over the summer or during the school year on something we want to focus on as a staff. Last year it was all about different total participation techniques– ways or activities you can use in the classroom to get all students engaged and involved. It was great to see new ideas and I tried many of them in my classroom each week. One of the best ideas, in my opinion, was giving the students answer or response cards to hold up. In my class, we do a lot of one student coming up to the board to point to the answer or letter. The rest of the kids really wanted a turn too, but rarely paid attention to anything except who was being called on (sound familiar? just me? Bueller?)

I started passing out index cards and having the kids write responses on them to hold up for the right answer. For example, if I had written the vowels on the board, the kids would get index cards and write a vowel on each one. Then I still had a student go up and identify the sound or letter, but the rest of the students also had to hold up the correct response. What I saw was a dramatic increase in participation and engagement. This year, I knew I wanted more ideas like this.

A while back I’d pinned something on Pinterest that showed a Popsicle stick with a thumbs up on one side and a thumbs down on the other. I thought these could be great to laminate and keep in their cups on their desks to use for quick total participation responses. When I clicked on the picture however, it was only a picture and no link to the actual cards. So, I made some myself!

You can download them here for free:

THUMBS- FREEBIE!!

Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs up, thumbs down

I based them off of the picture I had seen. I made tons of them, went to the store to get them laminated (to which the woman working said “Somebody’s been on Pinterest!” Busted 🙂 ), and came home to get started putting them together.

Mess

Mess

Can you please tell me someone else’s house turns into a disaster zone during crafting projects too?

Trying to craft!

Trying to craft!

Not only did I have things everywhere (I was making several things in one sitting) but my lovely dogs did not seem to understand that they couldn’t walk all over these!) 😉

Anyways, here’s what I used…

Materials

Materials

…the laminated cards, Popsicle sticks, and hot glue.

I took a stick, put glue on both sides near the top, on one side glued the thumbs up…

Yay!

Yay!

and on the other, glued the thumbs down.

Nay!

Nay!

I figured I can use them for things like voting, asking if something is the right answer, yes or no questions, and opinions. I’m going to put them in the kids cups (I Velcro cups to their desk where they put pencils, erasers, and scissors for quick access) so we can use them quickly and so I remember to use them! Because they are laminated, they should last a pretty long time.

We’re leaving for vacation on Saturday (so excited!) so expect to see some “classroom under construction” pictures the first week of August. I’m pretty amped to get in there and start setting up.

What things are you already making for your classroom?

I’ve made some sticks with numbers on them to pull for random answers and my QR codes. So far that’s about it, but I have some other ideas I want to get started with too!