QR Codes are jumping up everywhere and they definitely seem to be the
current big thing. In my mind that’s not enough of a reason to use them in the classroom, we should use the because they are a really powerful educational tool. They can turn an ordinary book into a multimedia experience and mathematically speaking QR Codes + YouTube = WOW.
So, how can we harness that power to support reading in the early years? Here are 3 suggestions.
1. The Cafe/Daily 5 Model recommends that students “Listen to Reading” every day and while I believe that there is nothing more wonderful, engaging and powerful than teachers reading to their students. QR Codes can support this and even enable us to individualise reading to students. There is a wealth of resources of stories read on line. YouTube alone offers gems like Mem Fox herself reading Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge. Almost all the Dr Seuss books are there and Where the Wild Things Are will enthrall young minds. Screen capture the cover, add a QR Code for the URL link and students can access their favourite story independently or you can give the most appropriate book to each child. Here are some Dr Seuss books already done for you to try.
2. “Read to Self” daily is also championed by the Cafe/Daily 5 Model. The wonderful read-a-long books at TumbleBooks support this beautifully. Use the same process as above to create a collection of links to stunning fiction and non-fiction texts. These books are levelled by lexiles and year level so you can give just the right book to your young readers. Here are some links to books for young readers.that I am happy to share.
These two simple ways to link your young readers with books can be used at any time, displayed around the room or on posters in the classroom library. Not to mention their potential as tasks for reading rotations as you can easily give students the “just right book” – a great up to date slant on the old listening posts.
3. How about using QR Codes to really engage your students by turning an ordinary book into a multimedia experience. We can now make books more than just words. Add QR Code links to videos from YouTube. In my copy of What Made Tiddalick Laugh I added QR Codes to a short documentary about Australian frogs that do actually drink huge amounts of water and store it for long periods in the front of the book and a wonderful reading of the story in the back. But you could also add links to related online games and activities. You could even use QR Voice to create an oral introduction to the story or instructions for a task to be completed after reading.
Or for even more a more personalised approach, record your own
voice for your students. Use a site called RecordMP3.org. it is simple to use and will give you a URL link to use to create your QR Codes. You could tailor make additions to a book to emphasise your teaching points, read sections to you students, give extra information or instructions. You could explain unusual or tricky vocabulary or even add extra features like a related poem.
QR Codes aren’t magic, but you can use them to add a little bit of magic for your young readers.
PS. If you would like to know how to create your own QR Codes in just a few minutes….yes I PROMISE, it is that easy, check out this quick tutorial.