I've been thinking about Guided Math a lot lately. This is something I've modelled in many classrooms over the last year and a half that I've been in this support role, and I am attending a workshop on Tuesday on Guided Math Gr. 3-6, so I hope to blog more on this topic next week. Today I want to talk about how the iPad and, more specifically, the use of QR Codes can play a part in Guided Math workstations.
One of the stations in your rotation during Guided Math may be related to technology. Certainly the use of math-specific apps is popular for this. Some of the great math apps for early years students (ones that I like, anyway) include Subitize Tree, What's Hiding and Kakooma. But there are so many wonderful activities available on the web. The problem is that often the web address is long, and has to be entered exactly or it doesn't work, which is a real problem for our youngest learners for sure. Here's where QR Codes come in.
QR stands for Quick Response. I'm sure you've seen them around. They got their start mainly for advertising purposes, but they can play a wonderful role in education too, and it's so easy! You will need to install a QR Code reader on your iPad, iPod, or whatever mobile device you're using in your classroom. I like i-nigma, which is free. To read a code, you simply hold your device up to the code, and the program automatically reads it and takes you to that website. It's like magic, honestly!
To make a QR Code, go to any of the free QR Code making websites. I like GOQR, wich is in the picture above. QR Codes can be made to display a text message, a phone number, video, audio file, and so much more, but for now I'll just talk about how to use it for websites. Open the "URL" tab on the site, and use copy/paste to insert the website address you want your students to visit. Click enter and the QR Code is displayed immediately. Now right click, and copy or save the image. That's it. Done. Easy-peasy.
The QR Code at the top of the page, once read, will take you to a Flocabulary video of the rap song "Know About 10s." I had the students take their iPads, use i-nigma to read the QR Code which I had printed out on a sheet of paper, and then they could watch and sing along to the song, which reinforces the numbers that add up to 10. (Flocabulary is another new find of mine. It's subscription-based, but has a free trial, and many of the videos can be found on YouTube as well.) This was done in a Gr. 1/2 classroom, and the students had no trouble using the QR Code.
Another day this week I was in a Grade 8 classroom. We were doing a project calculating the amount of sugar in various drink containers, and I wanted the students to read up on sugar consumption. I found a great infographic from Dr. Joe Today that I wanted them to read and analyze. I could have printed off the infographic, or read it to them, but instead I created the QR Code at the left and the students went straight to the site that housed the infographic, and read it on their own. In this case, I projected the QR Code onto the whiteboard, which worked well.
I love using QR Codes with students! Not only does it make going to websites fast and easy, but there's also a certain coolness factor surrounding them. Check it out. It's really easy!
Travelling Curriculum Support Teacher