Showing posts from July, 2012

QR Codes . . Take 2

I was having lunch with a friend of mine today and asked her had she read my recent post on using QR Codes in school.  She said "I read that thing, but it was too complicated!"   When I asked her what she meant by that, she told me when she "clicked" on the QR code at the top of my last post, nothing happened. "The thing just got bigger". (Insert chuckle) :-) You see I had made an assumption about the prior knowledge of people who may have read my post.  Kind of like when teaching children and we sometimes make assumptions about their prior knowledge by assuming they know or have had similar  experiences with something that is crucial to their comprehension.  That's when I realized I had not done my job correctly and  some reteaching was needed.
So let's back up a bit.  Where do the codes come from?   A Teacher's Guide on the use of QR Codes in the Classroom has a list of code generators. I have used Kaywa Code and it was pretty easy.  You ca…

QR Codes

I am so excited!  I have just stumbled upon a ton of new ways to use QR Codes (quick response codes) with my students this year.  I know, I know, I'm kind of slow.  Just last year I discovered I could add the code to newsletters and handouts for parents and they would quickly be directed to my website or a video. 
 But now I find these codes can be beneficial for my students as well.  Imagine that by just adding this code to a handout you can literally send students to videos and other resources to help them review concepts or expand their knowledge.  See for yourself . . . Mrs. White adds QR Codes directly to her review sheets.  Click here to see students using the codes when responding to literature.  Not convinced yet?  There are several videos on YouTube showing other ways to use these codes in elementary classes.  Who knew? If you are already using QR Codes, please share how you are using them in your class.
Education is changing and we're in for a fun ride!!  Are you rea…

Flip Sneak-A-Peek!

I had a light bulb moment early this morning!  Our school has Sneak-A-Peek before the school year begins.  Parents and students are given an opportunity to meet their new teachers and see their classrooms for the first time. It is very informal. What a wonderful opportunity for me to introduce flipping to my parents!

I am going to record a video for Sneak-A-Peek, have laptops set up, so parents can view the short video as part of their visit.  Then I will only have to  say those things I usually have to repeat over and over 1 time!  That will free me up to actually meet and greet the parents and students while they meander through the class. I won't have that nagging feeling that I forgot to tell a parent something.  I will make sure I include instructions on how to join our Edmodo group on the video.  I think this will be a great opportunity for parents to experience the flip for themselves!  What do you think?

Can You Hear Me Now?

I still get a chuckle, when I think about the response I got from my co-worker after asking for her opinion on an external microphone I was going to order.  Megan is my "next door teacher", who is also our resident computer expert.  Whenever I experience a technology problem in class, whether it be with the Smartboard, document camera, or even my laptop, I head next door.  Without giving it a second thought, she walks in my class and with a click here and a click there, magically fixes the problem. It had gotten to the point that whenever something went wrong, as it often does with technology, the students would say, "Do you want me to go next door and get Mrs. Huss?" 
So, originally I was thinking that I needed to order an external microphone to record the videos.   I would like to start flipping right off the bat with a video on class routines and procedures.  Of course, we will discuss what they learned together in class.  Then the videos can be used whenever …

Common Core, Flipping the Class . . .Help!!

In a little more than 4 weeks I will be officially returning to the classroom facing new changes and challenges.  I love a challenge!  As if implementing the new Common Core Standards were not enough, I have made a decision to flip my classroom this year. Why you might ask? 
Flipping my class will free up more time to work with my students both individually and in small groups throughout the day. Students will view and review material at home or at computer stations in class if needed.  Instead of spending precious class time spoon-feeding my students content information, they will spend more in-class time applying what they have leaned while engaged in activities designed to enhance rigor and relevance.  In a nutshell, flipping my class will free up time so I can meet the needs of all of my students.  Will these changes mean I have to completely change everything I currently do?  Absolutely not!
One practice I will continue is reading picture books to my fifth grade students.  Yes!  …

Where Do I Start?

Since I returned from the 2012 Model Schools Conference in Orlando, I have been reading everything I can find about flipping my class. For those of you that don't know what I mean when I say "flip my class" it involves students completing activities they typically do for homework (that often requires teacher assistance) during the school day.

"What will they do for homework?", you might ask.  Simply put, students will watch videos I have selected or created to teach or review content area lessons.  By doing this at home (or in small groups throughout the day) time is available for students to be engaged in activities to practice and apply what they have learned.   In Flipping the Elementary Classroom, Jon Bergmann's advice for teachers who want to begin this is "Don't flip a class...flip a lesson". 
I know I will need to take baby steps towards this goal.  The first thing I need to do is identify the software I am going to use.  It will be i…