Quirky QR codes – A Quintessential Way To Engage Students

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Mrs. Marino’s 4th Graders

Did I tell y’all that I have a student teacher this semester? Her name is Kaylee Ryan, and she is amazing. I think I am going to go into Empty Nest Syndrome when she leaves. She loves technology, she hates worksheets and she loves creating fun and innovative ways to engage students. My 4th graders have to know the difference in an expository text and a narrative. Miss Ryan and I brainstormed ways to assess them on this topic. We absolutely did not want to just hand them a stack of essays and say determine which is which. This is what Miss Ryan came up with. She made 15 QR codes. She hung the QR codes around the room. She then paired the students up and gave them one iPad and one chart. When Miss Ryan told them to rotate they moved to their first code. They scanned the code and an essay popped up. They read it as partners and determined together if it was a narrative or an expository. ( Yes, this was a grade!) The students loved this. They love working together, and they love having control over the iPad. So, basically they did do worksheets. What’s the difference? Why do they love to do something they normally would hate? Because we taught it in their language. Their language is technology. They are familiar with it. They thrive off it. They feel empowered by it, and they are comfortable with it. Because they are comfortable, they are confident. The thing I love about QR codes is that you can use them for any content at any grade level. You want to engage students in math…use QR codes instead of a worksheet. Science….QR codes that pop up as pictures of the different types of clouds. Social studies…create a game where students scan QR codes and then have to match the date of the year to a certain battle. I mean the possibilities are endless, and students LOVE them. So my question is….why not?


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