About three years ago, I began using a blended learning approach to teaching writing and reading workshop with QR codes and mobile devices such as iPads and smart phones. Over the years I have found that using QR codes and my class website has helped connect my students to our discussions and coursework through their mobile devices and computers.
When I introduce QR codes to my students, I compare QR codes to “Portkeys” in Harry Potter. These enchanted objects have the power to transport people to a new destination. In the case of my classroom, QR codes have the power to take my students to more information, websites, flipped lessons, and digital bins. I often affix QR codes on word lists for spelling and vocabulary so students can access games, multi-sensory study activities, or multimedia that may deepen their understanding. I have also used QR codes to help personalize my students’ spelling lists, reading logs, and book recommendations by giving students quick access to our class website, GoogleDocs or folders.
One of my favorite ways to use QR codes in writing workshop is to make my charts more interactive. When I create a chart, I make a QR code that links the information on the chart to our class website. I love using WordPress, so I create a new page that corresponds with the chart. During class, if students need to review the lesson, they can use the chart and an iPad to access the information from that lesson.
For example, I was teaching a Fantasy Fiction unit. I LOVE teaching fantasy fiction. Magic, heroes, and villains, oh my! I look forward to teaching this unit every year. I use fantastic mentor texts such as Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin and East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Mercer Meyer. I also use parts from Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and The School of Good vs. Evil to provide my students with examples.
Here you can see a chart I created about writing prophecies. The chart is simple with the tips we discussed in class. The neat part is the QR code that acts as a quick portal to a link on our class website to more information. For privacy reasons, I can’t give out the link to my class site, but I’ve made a mock-up of what this link might look like here on this blog. You can click here OR try the QR code using a QR code reader.
Enjoy! Please let us know if you use QR codes in your classroom too! We’re always looking for new ideas.
In Part 2, I’ll post pictures of using QR codes in Word Study and Poetry.