I love QR Codes! I mostly love how easy they are to make. I wrote about it last year (click here) but I'll recap.
There are so many QR Code generating websites out there - most of them free - but my favourite one is goQR.me. To create a text QR Code (a code that, when scanned, reveals a text message), here's how you do it.
1. Go to goqr.me.
2. Click the icon that looks like a page with the corner turned down.
3. In the text box (labelled "2. Contents") type the message you want the scanner to reveal.
4. The QR Code is displayed at the right of the screen.
5. You may choose to down load the code to your computer, or merely right click the image and copy it, then paste it into a document.
To create a QR Code that links to a website, the steps are almost the same.
1. Go to the website you wish the scanner to link to. Right click and copy the website address.
2. Go to goqr.me.
3. Click the icon that looks like the earth.
4. In the url box (labelled "2. Contents") right click and paste the website address.
5. The QR Code is displayed at the right of the screen.
There are other types of QR Codes that you can make by using this site, including a phone number, an email, a location and more!
So now you know how I made the QR Math Reflection Cubes in the image above. And, you ask, "What exactly is a QR Math Reflection Cube?" I made six cubes, each with six sides and a QR Code on each side. When scanned, a prompt for reflecting on that day's math lesson is revealed. I would use it with middle or senior years students. There are six cubes, because each cube is related to a different level of Bloom's Taxonomy. I thought I would copy each one onto a different colour card stock so that I could tell them apart.
It's true that I could have just printed the message on each side instead of pasting a QR Code. However, scanning the code offers some element of surprise, and it's fun (aka engaging!)!
I'm sharing! The download for the QR Math Reflection Cubes is below. If you use them in class, I'd love some feedback!
Math Inquiry is a classroom strategy that I've modelled several times for the teachers in our division. I've heard many different ways to use it with students, but here is how I use it in a Gr. 1-4 classroom.
Photo credit: 123RF
For older students (Gr. 5-8) I spread out the process over a few days. Here is the variation:
Depending on the number of students, and the richness of the problem, Math Inquiry for older students may take from 2-4 days.
One of the best resources I have for Math Inquiry is Math Expressions: Developing Student Thinking and Problem Solving Through Communication by Cathy Marks Krpan.
I attended an awesome workshop last week. The presenter was Dr. Cathy Marks Krpan, and the topic was communication in math instruction. This workshop really brought together everything I've learned about differentiated math instruction and cooperative learning.
I have used clotheslines in my classroom before. I've had students put numbers in order, and I've even used them in Word Work by asking students to arrange words into sentences (I even wrote the sight words on clothing-shaped paper!). But this goes one step further, and I tried it out on a Grade 8 class this week, as shown in the picture above.
While working with a small group, and another group was working together on percentage task cards, one group of students was at the clothesline, which I draped across the whiteboard at the front of the classroom. The cards I had prepared included percentages, decimal fractions, regular fractions and representations of parts of 1. The students had to decide collaboratively which cards went where in order to place them from least to greatest. The cards that were equal could be clipped together. The language that was being used as they debated over which cards went where was some of the best discussion I've heard in a math classroom in a long time! It was wonderful, to say the least!
This is an activity that could be used right across the grades.
Kindergarten: Numerals, dot arrangements and ten frames.
Grade 2: Numerals, number words, base ten blocks and addition/subtraction equations.
Grade 5: Multiplication/Division equations, arrays, and numerals.
Students could make patterns on the clothesline, skip count, order integers, sort shapes by attribute...
I highly recommend this book. It is Math Expressions: Developing Student Thinking and Problem Solving Through Communication by Dr. Cathy Marks Krpan.
Travelling Curriculum Support Teacher