QR Code Student Name Plates

Monitoring student activity in and out of the classroom can be tedious using a traditional sign-out sheet. Sign-out sheets can go missing, are difficult to share, and may take up valuable classroom space. But, QR codes make it simple for students and teachers to use technology to monitor student activity by creating a digital hall pass while archiving data into a Google Form.

Why QR Codes?

By linking a Google Form to a QR code, students can scan the correct code whenever they need to leave the classroom. All data is then stored into a spreadsheet if it needs to be reviewed.  The information can then be sorted and shared with parents, co-teachers or administrators.

How it works

Many teachers having been using QR codes linked to a Google Form. However, I have been using a method that allows students to sign out of the classroom without having to answer questions within the Google Form. Students can just scan the code and go!

Step 1: Create a Google Form.

The first thing to do is create a Google Form. Create a question for every QR code that you would like to create. For example, you could have a code for the bathroom, nurse or principals office etc.

You could list the students names or go with a generic numbering system as seen below. If you go with a generic numbering system, you may then reuse the form each year without having to edit student names or codes.

signout

Step 2: Create a “Student Name” Tab

If you used a numbering system in lieu of student names, then create a tab within Google Sheets listing each students name and their corresponding number. This way, you can easily reference student names when viewing the Google Form.

Step 3: Create a “Code” Tab

This tab will be used to create the QR Codes. You want to put the URL for the code in the 1st column and the name of the code you are creating in the 2nd column. For example, “Bathroom-Out” or “Nurse”.  Then, list the student names or numbers in the 2nd column.

bathroomspreadsheet

Step 4: Copy the link for each student from Google Forms

Go into Google Forms and get the pre-filled link for each student response. In this example, I am creating QR Codes for “Bathroom-Out” and “Bathroom-In”. That way I can quickly create codes for students to scan when they leave and enter the classroom. Here is how to get the link for each student. And, also note that if you are creating a generic numbering system you will only have to do this once and not every new school year.

prefilledlink

Step 5: Edit the link in Google Sheets

Now that we have the link, we are going to paste it into the Code tab in Google Sheets. But, we are going to edit the link and change it from “viewform” to read “formResponse”. Then we will copy the code for the remaining students. (Note: Google Forms will automatically change the code to read Student+1, Student+2 etc.)

formresponse

Step 6: Add QR Code Generator Add-On

Once you have finished copy, pasting and editing the codes, you will now add the QR Code Generator Add-On for Google Sheets. This allows you to highlight the URL for the Code, along with the student names, and create a printout of all the QR codes for your students. It’s pretty simple to use. Just go to Add-Ons, select “Get Add-ons” and add the QR Code Generator.

qr

Step 7: Test your QR Codes

You now have a QR Code for every student. Try scanning a QR Code and see if it works by logging the information into your form response tab in Google Sheets. When you scan the code it should timestamp the activity and place the student name in the appropriate column.

bath

Step 8: Distribute Codes

Determine how you’d like to distribute codes to students. Some teachers may use a binder and provide a page for each student. Other teachers use keyrings and place a code on the ring for easy access. One teacher created a laminated nameplate to go on student desks.

bathroomsample

Step 9: Explain routine to students

You did it! Student QR Codes are ready to go and all student activity will be logged into Google Sheets. Now, explain the routine to students and you are ready to go!

Do you use technology to monitor students?

10 iPad App Recommendations for Elementary Station Rotations/Centers

Many educators try to integrate technology into their station rotations. Yet, many popular applications may not allow students to unleash their creativity or demonstrate their learning. Sometimes it may be appropriate for students to simply consume information, but many educators may be unaware of applications that promote student productivity. There are so many FREE and inexpensive applications that enhance and redefine learning.

Why iPads?

If used correctly, iPads can not only promote creativity but also empower and engage students. Many applications provide a platform for students to share their ideas and creations with an authentic audience which then leads to increased motivation.

Rotation Stations/ Student Centers may include:

  • Creating videos
  • Screencasting
  • Creating animated presentations
  • Communicating using video response platforms
  • Maintaining digital portfolios
  • Providing feedback to classmates
  • Blogging
  • Goal Setting
  • Reflections
  • Formative assessments
  • Jigsawing ideas
  • Brainstorming
  • Revising and Editing

Do you need new ideas for your iPad stations?

Here are 10 amazing and apps that can be used for all content areas across the elementary curriculum. And, integrating these apps into your stations requires little to no preparation!

  1. Seesaw– Seesaw is a student-driven portfolio system that makes it incredibly easy to engage and empower students. Students can access teacher activities and notes, annotate images, create videos, blog, make screencasts, and give feedback to their classmates.
    • Center Ideas: Have students add artifacts to their portfolio, share their thinking about topics, comment on a classmates’ work, or complete a shared activity.
  2. Flipgrid– Flipgrid is an educational video response platform used by millions of educators across the world. Students may create a video in response to any topic and then reply to their classmates’ responses. The stickers and social media features truly engage students.
    • Center Ideas: Have students share their thinking about any topic. Or, add a topic directly from the Discovery Library into your classroom. When students are finished responding they may reply to their classmates’ ideas.
  3. Explain Everything– Explain Everything allows students and teachers to collaborate and create presentations that show their ideas. Presentations may include text, audio, video, and images.
    • Center Ideas: Students collaborate and create a presentation to demonstrate their understanding of an important concept.
  4. Book Creator– Book Creator as a wonderful app for student creativity. Students may add images, audio, text, and video to create a variety of books, manuals, portfolios, reports, or comics.
    • Center Idea: Students create a short book or comic strip about a topic to demonstrate understanding.
  5. Sock Puppets : Sock Puppets allows you to create your own video while syncing your voice to an adorable sock puppet. Add images and scenery from the gallery or import your own!
    • Center Idea: Student creates a short video explaining a topic, reviewing a book, or sharing an idea.
  6. iMovie Book Trailer: iMovie’s Book Trailer feature allows students to create short trailers just like you would see in the movies. Students may add images, narration and animations to their trailers.
    • Center Idea: Students may summarize a book they read, retell stories and share ideas about any topic by creating these fun trailers!
  7. Doink: Doink allows student creativity to reach new heights as they record short video clips while using a green screen.
    • Center Ideas: Record a news broadcast using a content related photo as a backdrop. Or, students can illustrate their own backdrops using art supplies and then take a digital photograph of their work.
  8. Shadow Puppet EDU– Even Kindergarten students can easily create a video using Shadow Puppet EDU! Students import photographs , record voiceovers, and add text that they may interact with while recording!
    • Center Ideas: Create a video sharing your ideas about a topic.
  9. Google Slides– Google Slides allows students to create and collaborate on a slideshow by adding text, video, images, and animations.
    • Center Idea: Create a slideshow about a concept learned in class. Or, collaborate on a slideshow as a class to jigsaw ideas or use as a formative assessment.
  10. Google Keep- Google Keep allows students collaborate while adding ideas or annotating images on a virtual sticky note. Students may add audio to share their thinking and a transcript will be provided.
    • Center Idea: Take a photograph of an assignment and annotate the image to show corrections. Then, use the audio tool to record your thinking. Edit the transcript to practice revising work.

But, how do students share what they create?

There are also many applications that will allow students to share their work. Some popular applications include Google Drive, Seesaw, Padlet, or Google Classroom. Of course, students can share all G Suite for Education apps simply by clicking the SHARE button.

In Summary

If you have access to iPads in your school you are extremely fortunate. There are hundreds of applications out there that will promote creativity and productivity. The next time you plan a center consider selecting an application that will allow students not only to learn, but also to demonstrate and share knowledge. And, as long as the app has been approved for student use, don’t be afraid to give it a go even if you don’t feel like you are an expert user. The students will show you how it’s done!

How do you integrate iPads into your student centers?

 

 

Integrating Flipgrid Across All Content Areas

There are so many different edtech tools out there that it can be difficult to prioritize which are worth investigating. However, with Flipgrid educators across all content areas and grade levels are easily able to integrate this tool into their curriculum. Flipgrid is a video discussion platform used by millions of students and educators across the globe! Teachers post a topic (alongside any resources) and students leave detailed video responses.

Why Flipgrid?

Flipgrid is a fabulous tool for promoting student thinking, offering instant feedback and providing students with an authentic audience. Students are so engaged by creating these video responses. Paired with the digital stickers and the social media features (such as the many different “like” buttons and video replies) it’s a guaranteed success!

How can I integrate Flipgrid into my curriculum?

Here are some ideas for integrating Flipgrid in your curriculum. I used Google’s Autodraw program to create the images.

flipgridsketch

Note: You may use this image for presentations/workshops, as long as you link back to this website and give me credit. You may only post this image to your blog with permission.

Have you tried using Flipgrid? How are you using it with your students?

Getting Students to Evaluate the Authenticity of Websites: Grades 3-12

There are millions of websites and our students are looking for instant gratification when it comes to finding answers. But, students are often using websites that are either not credible, erroneous or not current. So, how do we teach students how to find accurate and solid information in a world where anyone can post anything?

The Lesson

I like to start by playing a little trick on students. The two websites that I often use while teaching students how to evaluate websites are All About Explorers (created by teachers) and the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.  Both of these websites are not only safe to use with students but also very entertaining!

This week, I started my  lesson by asking students to review one of the assigned website and to share interesting facts with their classmates. It always amazes me when these 4th and 5th grade students shared their learning while stating obvious impossible facts such as “Wow. I never knew an octopus could steal dollar bills!” Or,”I had no idea that they had email back in the 1400s!”

These type of statements tell me two things:

  1. Students continue to believe what they read online is TRUE. We need to make sure they understand that anyone can make a website. It is up to the AUDIENCE to evaluate the website for authenticity before we use it for a reference.
  2. Students need to think for themselves.  We need to urge students debate questionable information. I believe every student knew that electronics were not around in the 1400s and that an octopus cannot climb trees. Yet, not one student in the 4th grade classroom debated the statement. And, only half of the 5th grade students were challenging the ideas. We need students to become independent thinkers.

After explaining the objective of my lesson (and getting quite a chuckle out of the students’ reactions), I introduced the 5 W’s for evaluating the authenticity of websites using this Google Drawing. (Click to make your own copy.)

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 12.27.58 PM

Then, we used these two hyperdocs to continue learning how to evaluate websites.

All About Explorers HyperDoc

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 12.17.18 PM

Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 12.18.50 PM

Summary

We need to teach students not only to be independent thinkers, but also to evaluate the millions of online sources at their fingertips. There are so many websites out there that look like they are credible, but are either filled with erroneous or dated information.

How do your students evaluate the authenticity of online sources? Do you use any “fake” websites such as All About Explorers or the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus?

The Hour of Code and The Hechinger Report!

The Hour of Code

This month, thousands of students in my district participated in the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is a global movement by Code.org and Computer Science Education Week to inspire millions of students across the world to learn how to code and learn about computer science. I always get excited this time of year, as Code.org’s Hour of Code reminds me of the time my father taught me how to code when I was in second grade.

Students in our district participated using various robots such as Dash and Dot, Robot Mouse and Beebots, games such as Code Master and Bloxes, and  websites such as Code.org to complete coding courses and activities. I tried to empower students by allowing them to choose their tools, devices and activities.

Hechinger Report

After sharing my article detailing my thoughts and experiences with Wonder Workshop, it was officially published in the Hechinger Report, and ASCD’s  Smart Brief on December 13! I am extremely proud to share the article with you. And, I am extremely proud to continue sharing my passion for The Hour of Code with students and educators whenever possible.

How will you continue to engage students past The Hour of Code?

 

 

Coding Squad: Keeping Students Interested in Computer Science Beyond The Hour of Code

Code.org’s annual “Hour of Code” is upon us! Students in my school have been having so much fun learning how to code using Dash and Dot, BeeBots, Robot Mouse, Bloxels, Code.org, Scratch, and countless other resources while learning the fundamentals of coding. Students are engaged and excited!

How do we keep that enthusiasm alive?

In order to continue engaging students in computer science beyond The Hour of Code,  I decided to start our first optional Coding Squad. This opportunity is a flipped learning approach in which students will learn about different computer science at home!

Weekly Challenges

For eight weeks, I will post a different coding challenge using a hyperdrawing which is designed to allow students to explore, engage, create, self-assess, reflect, and share their work. I will also post a video screencast tutorial detailing how to complete and submit each challenge. I will then post the answer to the challenge (if applicable) the following week.

Here is an example of my first activity:

(Click the image to “Make a Copy”)

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 10.28.29 PM

Digital Badges

In order to encourage participation, students will earn digital badges upon completion of each activity. We will share our work to an authentic audience using social media and our classroom website. Students that complete all eight challenges will have their names posted in our newsletters and on our Coding Squad website. I will also create certificates of participation for all students.

The buzz about our Coding Squad is quickly spreading throughout the school. Parents seem excited to learn about coding alongside their child!

In Summary

The Hour of Code is such an amazing way to engage our students while promoting collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, teamwork, and communication skills. The question is, how do we continue engaging students beyond The Hour of Code. How do we continue to encourage students to learn about computer science?

I am excited to see how the Coding Squad progresses over the next eight weeks. How will you encourage your students to continue learning about computer science?

10 Tools to Promote Number Talks

Are your students struggling to explain their strategies? Did your students receive low scores on the open response portion of a digital test? If so, increase student achievement by talking about math using technology!

Encourage students to:

  • Express their thoughts, ideas, solutions, and questions
  • Observe their peers
  • Receive and give constructive feedback
  • Revise and edit their responses while elaborating
  • Use technology to produce not consume information
  • View written transcripts of their audio recordings
  • Become more familiar with basic technology skills and keyboarding
  • Finally, construct their own detailed and accurate written responses

Here are 10 technology tools that will help your students increase their ability to share and expand their ideas about math:

copy-of-number-talk-tools-2.jpg3.jpg

How do you encourage your students to talk about math? Do you use technology?

Google Keep: Talking About Math: #MathSnaps

Some educators are referring to annotated digital images of student math problems as #mathsnaps. You can capture and archive student thinking within minutes! Google Keep is such an easy way to accomplish this!

Why Use Google Keep?

Student may:

  • Take a photograph
  • Add annotations to the image
  • Record their thinking
  • Receive a transcript to edit and revise
  • Share with a teacher
  • Collaborate with a colleague
  • Add links to websites or documents
  • Receive feedback
  • Insert Keep Notes into Google Docs, Drawings or Slides
  • Save in The Cloud

Video Tutorial

I used the FREE screen recorder on IOS 11 to create this short video tutorial.

In Summary

The next time you distribute student tests or quizzes, or just want a quick formative assessment, consider asking students to demonstrate their understanding and corrections by using Google Keep. It’s free. It’s easy. And, it’s fun! The more students talk about math the more they will increase their understanding and their standardized test scores! And, I know how much students care about those test scores 😉

 

Student Digital Reading Log Using Google Sheets

Why Google Sheets

Collecting student reading logs can be such a tedious task.  There are many websites out there that allow teachers to monitor student reading. However, I prefer Google Sheets as it is so easy to provide students with feedback using the Commenting Tool. Also, students and teachers may easily share the reading log with parents, administrators or educators simply by using the Share feature. And, the Google Sheet is also collaborative. If students were researching together then they could share references, ideas and summaries with their partners. Finally, Google Sheets automatically saves in the Cloud which makes it easy for students to track books they read at school and at home. It will never get lost!

Google Sheets Template

The following digital book log allows students to set a goal for how many books they wish to read. In the image below, the student set a goal to read 100 books. As the student updates their reading log on a weekly basis the percentage towards that goal is automatically updated. So for example, the student in the image below read one book today and they have a goal of 100 books. Therefore, they have met 1% of their goal!

Click the image and Make a Copy to modify and edit your digital book log. 

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.00.07 PM

Ways to distribute the digital book log

  • Google Classroom-Make a Copy for every student
  • QR Code Generator– Post a QR Code
  • Gmail- Share the file with students and email it to them
  • Teacher Website- Post a link to the URL on the teacher’s website. Remember to change the URL ending from “edit” to “copy” which will force students to make their own copies

Summary

There are many ways to have students track their reading. But, Google Sheets allows teachers and students to easily monitor progress using the amazing features of Google.

How do your students track their reading?