How To Use QR Codes In The Classroom Without Going Crazy

Hi, Teachers!

I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Frolics again for a Monday Made It post! I'm going to show you some things we've made in our classroom this week.

I hope you enjoy this week's post! My favorite "Made It" is getting technology into the classroom. I believe that technology has GOT to have a purpose in the classroom and truly transform your teaching. Doing a boring worksheet on an iPad is still a boring worksheet. Recently I found a great post on edSurge from one of my favorite teacher bloggers in the whole entire universe, Kayla Delzer of Top Dog Teaching. Literally every single thing she does jives so well with me! 

Click on the above picture to be taken to the article she wrote about using an app called Audioboom in the classroom to improve reading fluency. Seriously, go click it. You will LOVE how easy it is to use this app if you have iPads in your classroom. I've been doing it in my classroom, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE it makes! I decided there were more ways to utilize this app, and I've created something to help others use it. Since you've already clicked the link and read through the article and you are now an Audioboom expert, you won't need me to describe how to use the app. Which brings me to...

I created a book recommendation form for my classroom! I have a few kids who are really struggling to pick books they like, and I have a few who are trying to branch out and get more comfortable with other genres. Giving book talks is such a powerful thing to do in your room, and it helps to solve those problems. You can give the book talks, your kids can give the book talks... everyone can! I created a template to let students recommend other books to their classmates. It's a freebie in my store. You can grab it by clicking here.

A Word On Third: How To Use QR Codes In The Classroom Without Going Crazy

I like this form because it helps kids talk about the main characters, what they want, and a little bit about the obstacle in the book (part of the "Somebody wanted but so then" framework), but it doesn't give the whole book away. After all, the problems in books are introduced right at the beginning! It also gives kids a chance to say what they admire about a writer's work and why others should read the book. Of course, I included a section for kids to write where they found the book too. This is important critical thinking work that we as adults do SO quickly when we recommend books, but it's work kids need practice with. 

If you use this template (which I hope you do!), you might...

  • Print, cut, and provide these templates for students to write on and then post in the room. Perhaps they might be posted in the library.
  • Give these templates to students to use as a rough draft. Have students speak from them during a reading lesson or a Morning Meeting share.
  • Give these templates to students to use as a rough draft. Have students speak from them while they tape a video or audio recording of themselves. Use video or audio files in a way which works for you. You might even have students use an app which creates QR codes so you can print the recommendations and students can scan them when they need a good book. (Yep, this is where I used Audioboom.) You might separate QR codes based on genre and level so students can find recommendations which will apply to them. I suggest writing the book’s name and title above or below the QR code cut-out. Make sure to post these where the kids will actually use them!
A Word On Third: How To Use QR Codes In The Classroom Without Going Crazy

As you can see, I've used painter tapes to tape some readings and book talks onto the books as well. They will come off easily because I used painter's tape. How's that for a teacher hack? Make sure you model how to fill out this book talk first. Talk about what types of things kids might write about. How do readers admire an author’s craft? Also, make sure students tell classmates how to find the book they recommend. Is it in your classroom library? Which bin or shelf is it on? If these recommendations are to be useful, kids will need to be specific.

Now, if you waited to read that post about Audioboom by Kayla Delzer, READ IT HERE. I'M LINKING IT AGAIN. IT'S AMAZING. GO READ IT.

We've been studying immigration in my class. One project my kids worked on was creating dolls which represented an ancestor who immigrated to the United States. The kids had to interview a family member to learn more about this family member. Everyone made a REALLY cool doll. These were some of my favorites! I gave the kids a card stock template of a person, and they dressed the person to fit their ancestor's culture, time period, etc.

A Word On Third: How To Use QR Codes In The Classroom Without Going Crazy

Aren't these awesome? If you want to get crafty with something like these, kids can talk about what they learned about their family and heritage and you can PUT IT ON A QR CODE. Yeah, that's right. I said it. When you hang it up, kids can scan the codes to learn about their classmates. This is great public speaking practice for students as well. This is actually a really easy concept to apply to lessons, and it can be done independently or during group work. Students create a project? Great, have them talk about the important math thinking they did during the project. Then they can post it with the QR code. Easy peasy! This SHOULD NOT be a lot of hard work for you. Technology should make your job EASIER.

Finally, I updated my bulletin board for the winter. I have the most insane life hacks to make this easy for you, which I wrote about in this post. I will admit that this is last year's picture. I forgot to take a picture before leaving today. The only difference with this bulletin board is that I used some tissue paper on the trees and on the ground as my snow. That was a lot easier than pulling cotton apart!Again, you can use the same QR code method to have kids talk about what they post. We are going to be displaying our family trees and immigrant dolls all around this bulletin board. Luckily, nobody is across from me in the hallway. More wall space! WAHOO. 

What did you make this week? Make sure to link your post up on Fourth Grade Frolic's link party. Go read the other posts for some cool ideas too!


  1. Wow - Marla - reading your post has left me slightly breathless - you have done so much and it's wonderful of you to share your expertise and signpost such great things. Love the immigration dolls :) Thank you so much for taking the time it is much appreciated and I will check out Audioboom right now!! Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

    1. Wow!! Thank you so much for the kind words. They mean a lot to me! I hope you are enjoying Audioboom! :)