QR Codes in Math ClassOne of the perils of keeping a cell phone in your back pocket is that IF you forget it's in there and make a quick run to the bathroom, you MAY find yourself doing what you NEVER thought you would do. Reaching into a toilet to save your precious? Maybe you've been lucky enough to never deal with this particular ring of hell. Maybe it was a just-cleaned toilet at home and no one was around to hear you scream, and not a public toilet that hasn't been cleaned in weeks, where your stall neighbor debates what is worse - your hygiene habits or the profanity spewing from your mouth. Maybe we should have a march against back pockets, because they are a danger to our livelihood in this day and age.
What does this have to do with math?Right. So maybe you don't need to let your kids use your cell phone to scan their QR codes because you have iPads for that. Phew, let's hope that's the case, because at least those don't fit in anyone's back pocket. I will be the first to admit my love of all things technology. I will also tell you that I have to do math on paper. I need to draw my picture and diagram and write and erase and cross things out and so on. I hope you and your kids do, too, and follow all the steps they need to solve their math problems.
Why do I need QR codes?You don't need QR codes. Once you try them, though, and see how excited your kids are to work through math problems and check their answers, you will love having them. Task cards work well for this too - have one problem per task card, organizer them in coupon holders or plastic containers, and use them at your math centers so kids can work independently honing their math skills.
How do I use QR codes?QR codes are easy. All you need is a reader to scan the code. There are dozens of free QR code readers to choose from. I love them so much that I included QR codes with these math task cards. When you scan the code, you will get the answer. It's a very fast and easy way to check, and even though kids get to use technology, they are not overusing it. They are still focusing the "meat" of their work elsewhere.
Other Ways to Use QR Codes in MathCreate a scavenger hunt! This is a favorite activity for kids. It will take some planning ahead and you will have to take the QR codes to the next level (not just scanning, but also creating them). You can do something as follows -
- Start with a task, such as "Find 4 apples" (you will need to have four apple icons pinned up somewhere in the room, with a QR code nearby)
- Then have the QR code there so that when they scan it, it will give the next clue (something like "Find 10 + 3 window clings" or "Find 19 - 11 erasers" - you can put the next clue in with your erasers or on the window).
- You will need to create your own QR codes. I like using Kaywa (click more for text codes, which is what I stick with for kids).
Try Math QR Codes for FREEThis resource is for 3rd and 4th graders, but if you want to see how to use them, you can download it and try it out.
Here's a hint - you don't even need to print the cards to scan them! You can scan them right on a screen. That is like, DOUBLE the fun for kids, trust me. You aren't lazy for not printing the cards, you are an ENVIRONMENTALIST.
Remember to keep that phone out of your back pocket. Trust me, you don't want to go there. If you are going to insist, at least keep desiccant and/or dry rice on hand so you are prepared. Love QR codes and want to use them everywhere you can? Find additional ideas on using QR codes in the classroom here.