Digital Hall Passes using QR Codes

This Fall, educators are doing everything they can to provide sanitized materials for our students. But what about those old, laminated bathroom passes or sign-out notebooks? If your students have access to a device that can scan QR codes you may want to consider using digital hall passes. Most all newer model SMARTphones, tablets and laptops are able to scan QR codes.

Why QR Code Hall Passes?

If students have access to a device with a QR code scanner, the codes allow students to quickly scan the code whenever they need to leave the classroom without touching a shared bathroom pass or notebook. This also creates a record system for the teacher by recording student activity using a spreadsheet.   The information may then be sorted and shared with parents, co-teachers or administrators as needed. This blog post also explains how to create a pre-filled link so even our youngest learners can scan a code with their names and destinations already selected for them.

Step 1: Create a Google Form

The first thing to do is create a Google Form. Go to Forms.new and create a question for every QR code category that you would like to create. And, list student names as the answers to each question. Save yourself time by duplication each question and editing the destinations. Do NOT make answering the question a required action.

Example FORM with hall pass categories and student names.

Step 2: View Response Sheet

Once you are finished, click on View Response Sheet above. And select “View responses in Sheets”.

Step 3: Create a New Sheet Tab for Links

Open the Sheet and create a new Sheet tab for the links to the pre-filled responses you are about to create. Creating pre-filled Form responses will allow students to scan codes that already have their name and desired action selected. Use only 2 columns in this tab. One Column will be for the student links. One Column will be for descriptions.

You will want the final Sheet to look like this:

Example Sheet with Links

Step 4: Copy the Pre-Filled Links

Go into Google Forms and create the pre-filled link for each student response. In this example below, I am creating QR Codes for “Bathroom-Out” and “Bathroom-In” for Student 1.

Note: that if you are creating a generic numbering system instead of student names you will only have to do this once and not every new school year. Paste the link in the Sheet and make sure to add the description in Column B. Here’s a link to my Sheet for reference.

Step 5: Optional- Edit the link in Google Sheets to formResponses.

Now that we have the link, we are going to paste it into the Links tab in Google Sheets. But, we are going to edit the link and change it from “viewform” to read “formResponse”. This edit will allow students to Scan the code and automatically log their response. If you do not change from viewform to formResponse, students will see their names and the Form questions. It’s really a personal preference.

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. (Note: The new update for QR Code generator requires you to only use 2 columns)

You will get a printout like this:

Step 7: Test your QR Codes

You now have a QR Code for every student. Try printing and 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.

Example Form

Step 8: Distribute QR Codes

I used Google Slides to copy and paste the codes. Determine how you’d like to distribute codes to students. For example, do you want to laminate them and place them on their desks?

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 have a better system? I’d love to know!

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. 

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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?

Do Your BookSnaps Seem Flat or Disorganized? Spice Up and Organize BookSnaps Using Google Drawings while adding GIFs, Bitmojis, and Word Art to Code Text!

What are BookSnaps?

BookSnaps is a term used for annotated digital snapshots taken by students while reading texts. Popular apps for BookSnaps include SnapChat, Seesaw, Instagram, and Explain Everything. Tara Martin is one popular educator credited for coining the phrase “BookSnaps” and sharing her fabulous BookSnap ideas all over Social Media.

Do your BookSnaps seem flat or disorganized?

Use Google Drawings to help students stay organized while promoting creativity!  Use animated GIFs from Sticky Al app, or add images using Google Search or the Bitmoji Chrome Extension. And, don’t forget how simple it is to use Word Art to code the Text! Or, if you have never created BookSnaps, consider starting your journey using Google Drawings!

Google Drawings is my favorite tool for a number of reasons:

  1. Students may collaborate on BookSnaps using the Share Tool.
  2. Students may provide and receive feedback using the Comment Tool.
  3. Google Drawings saves in the Cloud.
  4. Students may use the Explore Tool to locate images and research topics.
  5. A Key for coding the text can be provided in the margin or “gutter”.
  6. Bitmojis are easily integrated using Chrome Extensions.
  7. Insert animated GIFs or captioned student-created images Using Sticky Al App.
  8. Students can use the Screencastify Extension to explain and record thinking about their BookSnaps.
  9. Students can “Turn In” their work using Google Classroom.
  10. Teachers can “Make a Copy” of a template for every student or differentiate by modifying templates to meet individual needs.

Example BookSnap With ANIMATED GIF! Click Image to View

Screenshot 2017-10-11 at 6.53.47 PM

Student Created Stickers for Annotating Text

Students may create their own images  or ANIMATED GIFs by using the amazing FREE apps such as Sticky Al. Sticky Al allows students to create their own selfie-stickers and GIFs that may be used with Google Drawings by:

  1. Using the Free Sticky Al on iPad to take photos using various facial expressions and gestures to use in the reading responses. (I recommend students model being surprised, angry, sad, happy, confused, and also using hand gestures. Then add fun labels to express the thoughts.)
  2. Uploading images into Google Drive and placing them in a folder. Students may now use the images for the rest of the year. They would only have to do this once!

Go to Insert-Image to locate student-created images and insert them to BookSnaps.

stickyexample

You can even caption the images or customize animated GIFs right in the Sticky Al App! Awesome!

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Google Drawings BookSnap Template (Click and Make a Copy)

booksnaps template

Here is a template you may wish to use with students.  I provided the Bitmojis for my students using the Chrome Extension as they are too young to have their own Bitmoji accounts. I would provide both male and female Bitmojis so students may select the desired gender. But, ultimately, student-created images using the Sticky Al app would be the way to go! Click the image above to create your own copy and modify as needed.

Video Tutorial

Summary

In Summary, I think Google Drawings allows teachers and students to stay highly organized by inserting a coding key and distributing assignments using Google Classroom. The ability to work in the Cloud while collaborating with group members is also a key to engaging students. Immediate feedback using the Commenting Tool is surely a way to allow students to revise and reflect with peers and educators. Throw in some animated student-created GIFs and Bitmojis and you have a winner!

Promote Creativity and Collaboration by Creating Comic Strips Using Google Drawings

These days, there are dozens of apps and websites available for creating and integrating comic strips into the classroom using characters and scenery provided by the designers. But do students really need these websites? Why not have them create their own comic strips using Google Drawings!

Why Google Drawings?

  • Collaboration: Students may share their comic strip and collaborate with a partner and receive instant feedback using the Comment tool.
  • Research: Students may use the EXPLORE tool to continue researching their topic.
  • Creativity: Students may customize their comic strips without being limited to the software’s permissions.
  • Convenience: Comic strips will automatically be saved into the student’s Google Drive without hassle.
  • Cost: It’s FREE.

EXAMPLE

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5 Creative Ideas for Using Comics in the Classroom

  1. Health: Students create scenarios explaining how to react during certain situations. For example: They can create informational comic strips explaining how to react to bullying, peer pressure or stress.
  2. Math: Students create and solve word problems while explaining their thought process. For example: Students create a comic strip applying a number sentence to a real life scenario.
  3. ELA: Students may retell or summarize a story. Or, dig deeper to summarize characters traits, problems, conflicts, or resolutions within their reading assignment. Students could even create a comic strip to demonstrate understanding of unfamiliar vocabulary terms. For example: Students create a comic strip reenacting a scene that provides evidence of the main character’s internal character traits.
  4. Science: Students explain a science concept. For example: Students create a comic strip explaining the water cycle.
  5. Social Studies: Students could summarize a historical event or reasons for immigration. They could discuss a region’s features, economy, location, agriculture or landforms. For example: Students create a comic strip with a character discussing the landforms found in the region.

Resources

Sticky App: Create clear background selfies. Turn selfies into stickers!

Google Drawings Cartoon Templates- Feel free to modify and share!

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 8.45.33 PM

 

Using Google Keep to Solve Problems and Record Thinking During Math

Coaching Question: How can I integrate Google Keep into my Math Curriculum?

Math Keep

This year, educators have been raving over Google Keep in almost all areas of the curriculum. I immediately seem to gravitate towards mathematics when I think of the amazing ways we can use Google Keep in our classrooms.

Why Google Keep?

  1. Students may add a photograph from a digital or hard copy of the math problem.
  2. Students may use the drawing tool to annotate or solve the problem.
  3. Students may use the voice tool to explain their thinking, which not only records but also has the speech-text option, providing a transcript of their recording (only via mobile apps).
  4. Students may work collaboratively with a partner.
  5. Students may convert the note to a Google Doc.
  6. Students may then share their work with a teacher.
  7. Students may create a digital portfolio while creating and saving notes.

Example Math Assignment

If you distributed a paper or digital math problem to students, they could take a photograph or a screenshot of the problem. Students could then use the drawing tool to solve and annotate the math problem. This allows you to go paperless or share the assignment via any digital tool or whiteboard.

Screenshot_20170718-144838

In this photograph, the student takes a picture of a problem on the computer screen or whiteboard. Then, solves the problem and annotates the image.

Students record their thinking using Voice Recorder

Students could add their thinking using the Keep mobile app voice recorder.

Screenshot_20170718-144857

Mobile Devices have the Voice Recording feature.

The recording will then use the speech to text feature to provide a transcript. Students may correct and edit and errors in the transcript. Or add important details that they left out.

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 8.00.51 PM

Keep note now has audio and written transcript of audio.

Collaboration Tool

Students may collaborate with a partner and share their work with their teacher or group members.

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 8.11.59 PM.png

Convert to Google Doc and grab image text.

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If you click on the 3 dots, you have the option to copy the note to Google Docs or grab image text! How awesome is that?

Google Keep is really a “one stop shop” when it comes to seeing students work and understanding their thinking. I find this especially true if you are using the Keep App on mobile devices due to the Voice Recording feature.

Do you use Google Keep during Math Class? If so, how?

Go Digital with Morning Meeting Walls

Coaching Question: Is there a way to digitalize my Morning Meeting wall so I that I may save wall space?

Yes!

Many elementary school teachers are familiarizing themselves with the Responsive Classroom approach and using a Morning Meeting to start the day. The Morning Meeting is a great way to start the day, engage students and promote a sense of community within your classroom. However, the Morning Meeting bulletin board can take up a lot of space leaving little room for student work, instructional materials or anchor charts!

Example Morning Meeting Bulletin Board:

MM.png

The Solution: Go Digital

If you have a projector then definitely go digital! By having a digital Morning Meeting wall, you are not only saving space but you also allowing students to:

  1. Collaborate by adding questions
  2. Archive information to review as the year progresses
  3. Read teacher posts (and of course Bitmojis)
  4. Edit/Revise questions for the meeting
  5. Publish learning
  6. Share with parents, co-teachers, administrators, and collaborators

Plus, you don’t need to have the Morning Meeting wall projected on your whiteboard all day. Bookmark the digital Morning Meeting wall and pull it up on your whiteboard as needed throughout the day. And, share the wall with students via Google Classroom, Seesaw, e-mail etc. to have the reflect, comment, or collaborate on the digital bulletin board.

Example (Click to View)

Can you find the interactive links in this Morning Meeting Wall? (Click the image)

morning meeting wall

Need more ideas?

If you’d like more ideas for your Morning Meeting wall, check out this link with ideas for the K-2 and 3-6 classrooms.

Do you use a wall for your Morning Meeting?

 

 

 

 

Digital Morning Meeting Walls

Many elementary school teachers are familiarizing themselves with the Responsive Classroom approach and starting each day with a classroom “Morning Meeting”. The Morning Meeting is a great way to start the day, engage students and promote a sense of community within your classroom. However, a Morning Meeting wall can take up a lot of space leaving little room for student work, instructional materials or anchor charts.

Example Morning Meeting Bulletin Board:

MM.png

The Solution: Go Digital

If you have a projector then definitely go digital! By having a digital Morning Meeting wall, you are not only saving space but you also allowing students to:

  1. Collaborate by adding questions
  2. Archive information to review as the year progresses
  3. Read teacher posts (and of course Bitmojis)
  4. Edit/Revise questions for the meeting
  5. Publish learning
  6. Share with parents, co-teachers, administrators, and collaborators

Bookmark the digital Morning Meeting wall and pull it up on your whiteboard as needed throughout the day. And, share the wall with students via Google Classroom, Seesaw, e-mail etc. to have the reflect, comment, or collaborate on the digital bulletin board.

Example Google Slides Morning Meeting Wall

Many teachers feel Google Slides would be the best tool for creating a Morning Meeting Wall as you may copy and paste the wall onto a new slide, and share walls with teachers and parents in Google Classroom. And, you get your wall space back!

Template for Editing

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1yZAKKoQdbL2ohFMmz6zXYVBNhlrvDptgsh3fTkQKQsc/template/preview

Have you gone digital with your Morning Meeting wall?

Google My Maps: HyperSlide Activity for Students

This month, I have been eager to introduce Google My Maps to students and teachers. As I started planning my lessons, I decided Google Slides would easily allow me to include directions, video tutorials, games, and formative assessments within the “HyperSlide” activity. Then, upon completion of the activity, we could begin creating our own My Maps.

The following hyperSlides were created for a 2nd Grade classroom, but could easily be modified for any grade level. Just “Make A Copy” to edit the following slides.

Click here or the image below to view the activity.

maps2

 

Add Streaming Video to Google Drawings!

Recently, I have been using Google Drawings to create #HyperDrawings. But, I did not think it was possible to embed video into the Google Drawing! Tonight, I accidentally discovered that it is really easy to do!

Step 1: Insert a Video into Google Slides (Insert-Video)

Step 2: Click on Video- Copy (Ctrl C)

Step 3: Go to Google Drawings

Step 4: Paste (Ctrl V)

You now can click on the video in Google Drawings and it will STREAM!

Check out my tutorial to learn how: