Category Archives: QR Codes

A Wee List of Ways to Weather the Winter

Santa "Adapts" to a New Environment (a computer game with a "dedly turtle") from S.C.A.M.P.E.R. The Holidays
Santa “Adapts” to a New Environment (a computer game with a “dedly tertal”) from S.C.A.M.P.E.R. The Holidays

Thank goodness for people like Laura Moore (@LearnMoreStuff).  She collected a ton of December-themed tech activities, and bundled them all up in a Listly she embedded in this post.  With 3 more weeks until Winter Break, she realizes that we all need some ideas to get us through this crazy month.

I’m pretty sure Laura’s list will keep you busy.  But, just in case you still have some huge gaps in your lesson plans, here are some past posts that I’ve done with a Winter theme:

Text Snowflake Creator

Creative Snowflakes

The Twelve Days of Christmas (with Fibonacci and Pascal’s Triangle)

S.C.A.M.P.E.R. the Holidays

S.C.A.M.P.E.R. the Holidays Redux

Augmented Reality Holiday Cards (I might add some more to these in the near future, or you can watch these great instructions from @PaulHamilton8 on making your own.)

Holiday QR Codes (with a Kindness Countdown, Class Coupons, and Home Coupons)

Holiday Logic

Factory Balls – Christmas Edition

And, of course, yesterday’s post – If I Lived in a Snow Globe, I Would Wear My Bike Helmet to Bed

During this month, don’t we all feel like we live in a snow globe sometimes? 😉

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Puppet Pals 2 + Aurasma = Reward Coupons

aurasmarewardcoupons

I’ve posted some QR code reward coupons for the classroom on this blog in the past.  The kids enjoy the air of mystery when they get a coupon and get to “discover” their reward.  As regular readers have probably figured out, though, I easily get bored.  So, I decided to change up this year’s reward coupons by adding a little “Aurasma-tazz.”

Before I go any further, if you are not familiar with Aurasma, I highly recommend that you visit the Two Guys and Some iPads blog to learn about it.  You do not have to know how to make an aura in order to use these coupons, but you do need to know how to use the app to scan and to follow a channel.

I created these coupons using Puppet Pals 2 on my personal iPad.  We have the first version of Puppet Pals at school, but I like that the second version incorporates moving mouths and limbs.  It also adds music.  It costs a bit for the All Access pass, so we haven’t purchased it at school, yet.

Because Puppet Pals 2 did not have a turkey, I used the one from the first version by importing the photo and cutting the character out.

From my Tellagami app smash, you will have learned that I dislike the sound of my own voice.  This time, I used a website, naturalreaders.com, for the character voices.   Also, I used Canva to create the images for the Reward Coupons.

All of these coupons mention being “thankful” so I thought they would be good to bring out this month, when we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.  But, as I know many of you are not in the States, they are not centered on this theme.

I will be placing these in my class treasure box.  At first the students will not know what each reward is, so they will enjoy the element of surprise.  Once they become more familiar with the images, though, I will probably put them in envelopes, or disguise them in another way to keep them guessing.  Another way that you could use them would be to put them in cards for the students.

I am giving you links to the images in case you want to put them in a different format, as well as the PDF with all of them on there.  The images and/or PDF need to be printed in color in order to trigger the videos.  Also, you need to be following the Hidden Forest Elementary channel in the Aurasma app.

By the way, if you would like to see some more Augmented Reality Resources, check out this page, or my Augmented Reality in Education Flipboard magazine.

Aurasma Reward Coupons PDF

Blast Off to Genius Hour!

For many of you, today may be your first day of the new school year.  If so, I hope it’s a great one!  My goal is to make it an unforgettably fabulous year for my students.  In the immortal words of Kid President,

Kid President - Awesome Year

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 Genius Hour Resource Page

That’s my plan, and one of my strategies for achieving this is to offer Genius Hour to my 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade GT students.  (In the past, I’ve only offered it to my 5th graders.)

Over the summer, I developed some new resources to use during Genius Hour.  I’ve already shared some with you, but I just created some more:  Suggested Genius Hour Mission Sequence, Genius Hour Mission Planner, and Genius Hour Mission Log.  Each of these can be found, along with the other resources, on my Genius Hour Resources Page.  You can also find links to explanatory articles and some outstanding resources (that are definitely not mine!) on that page.

Here is a breakdown of the new pieces I just added:

Suggested Genius Hour Mission Sequence – this page is a very abbreviated list of recommendations for the teacher on how to conduct Genius Hour using the resources provided

Genius Hour Mission Planner – this is a planning sheet for students to fill out before each Genius Hour project

Genius Hour Mission Log – this is a reflection sheet to be completed at the end of each Genius Hour

If you’re new to this blog, you don’t want to miss out on the Genius Hour Trailer, Genius Hour Bookmarks (QR Codes), and Challenge Cards (which also include QR codes) – plus a bunch of other supporting materials.

Make this year awesome for your students by including Genius Hour in your lesson plans!  They will never forget it!

partial screen shot of Genius Hour Mission Planner
partial screen shot of Genius Hour Mission Planner

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.