Monday, December 8, 2014

#Hour of Code

Computer Science Education Week a.k.a. the Hour of Code kicked off today!  Last year 15 million students participated in the Hour of Code, and this year the goal is to get 100 million students worldwide to do an Hour of Code by the end of 2014!  Here’s a little intro video from if you’re unfamiliar with what The Hour of Code is all about.  

I fully support their philosophy that every 21st-century student should have the opportunity to learn computer science.  If you’ve never tried coding before, is a great place to start.  It offers a variety of self-guided tutorials from kindergarten up featuring Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, and even Frozen!  Here are a couple of my cuties working on an Angry Birds maze sequence.

There’s no prep work required of the teacher, except maybe showing one of these videos to get your students motivated.  I personally love the inspirational message from President Barack Obama.

After learning the basics from, I let my students experiment with the free app Scratch Jr. today.  They had a blast programming their characters to move, jump, dance, and even talk.  If you’re lucky enough to have iPads, I’d definitely recommend this app for little ones!

Happy coding!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

QRazy About QR Codes Guest Blogger

I’m so excited to be doing a guest blogging exchange today with Tabitha from Flapjack Educational Resources.  Tabitha may be the only person I know that's QRazier than I am.;)  Enjoy her post!

Hey, ya'll! I am so happy Kristin has given me the opportunity to collaborate with her on our love of QR codes in the classroom. My blog is FlapJack Educational Resources and be sure to check out Kristin's post there. We also are giving away our best upper elementary QR code resources to a special winner, so check that out at the end of the post!

Here are some ways I've incorporated QR codes in my 4th grade math classroom:


In this simple game, students have fun while also self-checking each other and practicing important math skills. This game practices identifying prime numbers and you can grab it for free here.


I have also created some self-checking worksheets that keep students engaged and motivated. The self-checking aspect of QR codes allows students to self-assess and also saves me a lot of time in checking their progress.

However, putting QR codes together on worksheets can really get in the way of the codes' scan-ability. I've created QR code blockers to help remedy that problem. You can download the above worksheet and the QR code blockers for free here.

Task Cards

I love creating QR code task cards and doing "Solve the Room" type activities. Kristin Kennedy's task cards are a favorite of mine. These long division cards I've created can be found for free here.

How does "Solve the Room" work? You place cards around the walls of your classroom, preferably in number order. I used the Stikki Clips found at Amazon to easily place and remove cards. Students take their math journals and solve the problems around the room, going in whichever order they choose. Recording sheets and clipboards can also be used. My kids usually work in partners because we do not have devices for every student.

I actually purchased some used iPods with my own money and I have found these pantyhose organizers at Amazon to be a super way to store them. I just sliced holes in the backs of each pocket to run the cables through to a power strip filled with charging cables.

QR Code Jenga

 We love using Jenga to practice math facts and such, so I also created some fraction QR code labels to adhere to Jenga blocks. Students must answer the problem correctly before stacking the block or pulling it out once the tower is constructed. Grab this freebie here.

Class Memories QR Code Frame

I created an Evernote list with all of our class videos I had created throughout the year. I connected the Evernote to a QR code and added it to this framed portrait for students to scan and watch our memories videos in their free time. You can find instructions and the free frame template at my YouTube channel.

Class Website QR Code Business Card

At the beginning of the year, I created a QR code business card magnet to gift to parents. Since QR codes are becoming more and more popular, many people have the app to scan them, and it's a great way to increase parent communication. It also gave a heads-up to parents that we will be using QR codes a lot in our classroom. You can see how to create your own here.

Student-Created Tutorials

I had some of my students create a demo video with the educreations app on how to do lattice multiplication. I then created QR codes of the videos in poster format for the rest of the class to scan and learn from their peers. You can find more detailed instructions here.

Multiplication QR Code Posters

Students created their own multiplication problems and their own QR answers. I displayed them on a wall and had the students solve each others problems and self-check by scanning the QR codes. See more instructions here.

QR Code Checkers

If you have a checkers game lying around, you can turn it into a fun QR code math center. I have created labels for practicing mental math skills and finding the GCF and LCD. Grab the free labels here.

QR Code Behavior Coupons

I don't know when I will stop using these coupons. Students continue to love them year after year. All you have to do is print out the squares, mix them up in a container, and allow students to randomly choose one. They don't know what they'll get until they scan it. Then they write their name and what it was on the back and save it until they're ready to use it. Most of the rewards do not cost anything. Grab the free English version here and the Spanish version here.

You can find more freebies, tutorials, and resources at my QR Code Classroom Craze page.

And be sure to stop by my blog to see all of Kristin's super QR code classroom ideas!

And now for the giveaway! Kristin and I have put together our top upper-elementary QR code resources into one big bundle! If you win, you'll receive all of the following (click on each to see more details):

The giveaway ends Saturday, December 13th, at midnight EST. Enter now for a chance to win a ton of QR code classroom fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Home Decor and TpT Cyber Sale

Happy Sunday, sweet friends!  I hope you all had a restful Thanksgiving and enjoyed the blessings of friends and family.  I always use these few days off to start on my Christmas decorations, and I thought I would share my progress thus far with you.  I made a couple of burlap wreaths for our home—one for inside and one for outside.  These wreaths are very easy to make and I have so much fun picking out accessories for the different seasons. 

I had some extra burlap so I made this little banner for our fireplace and threw a few other old and new things up there.  There’s still more to do around the house, but I’m happy with the progress we've made.

I also managed to make some progress on school/TpT things.  If you own either of my “growing bundles,” please be sure to download my newest task card set!
All of my upper grade task card sets are available in both QR code versions and non-QR code versions.  As I create new sets, they are added to my QR code and non-QR code growing bundles, which can then be re-downloaded for free.  In addition, each task card set comes with a bonus one-page (6 question) quick assessment.

Have you heard about the TpT Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale starting tomorrow?  These bundles as well as all of my other products will be marked down 28%.

I recently bundled some of my other (QR code and non-QR code) math center packs for big kids to help get you through the hectic weeks ahead as well as test prep season.  These are already marked down 20% as a bundle and you can get them for an additional 28% off with the Cyber sale discount!

For my primary friends.. you may be interested in my QRazy for QR Codes math center pack, which includes lots of place value and number sense activities. 

My Camping Out with Addition and Subtraction center pack has also been a big hit with my second graders.  I have two versions of this product—one with QR codes and one without.

Oh, and I can’t forget my personal favorite reading center staple—my QR code listening center.

Don’t forget to enter the promo code TPTCYBER when you check out.  Happy shopping and happy *almost* Christmas Break!

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