Sunday, January 12, 2014

Counting Coins and QR Codes

After giving a presentation about using QR codes in the classroom to the staff at school, a few of my colleagues have been using QR codes in their classroom. It is really awesome to see an idea spread, even if it is gradual. Either way, it inspired me to make a few more items using QR codes. After my measurement unit, we'll be working with money and time. My students just love it when I have a QR code activity in math centers, so I made my Counting Coins and QR Codes task cards.
I used coins in color (fronts and backs) to help with identification. Sometimes I just set this type of activity up as a math center and other times, I will post them around the room so students can get up and moving. I just print the task cards (in color if possible), cut, and laminate so I can use them over and over again or lend to colleagues. Then, I just copy the recording sheets, stick everything in a zip top (gallon size) bag and go! My little darlings are so excited when they see QR code centers and they always make sure to stay focused so they can have accuracy. I just love hearing the kids say "Yes! I got it!" after they scan the QR code and get it right. Immediate feedback is so important, but equally important is the side effect of less grading for the teacher. To me, it is a win-win situation!
Many people have asked me how to set up the management of using QR codes. I have two methods to deal with students using either iPads or iPods to scan the QR codes. I either set up one or two iPads in a central location (within my line of sight) as a scanning station, or I have 4 or 5 iPods that I will hand students when they show me their completed recording sheet. My students have been taught that they must complete all the tasks in order to scan. Believe me, they hold each other accountable for this! The second thing I have taught them is how to make a checkmark on the correct answers and to go back and try again for the ones they missed. Often, when introducing a new concept, the QR code center will actually be at my teaching table so I can monitor progress. I'm also finishing up a Telling Time and QR Codes activity that will be very similar. In 2nd grade, we have to tell time to the 5-minute interval, but I am planning make a set that works on telling time to the quarter hour for my first grade friends. Well, I better get back to lesson planning!

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