Monday, January 18, 2016


Where in the app world do you find fab apps?! It takes a lot of searching, reviewing, and playing to find some great ones, but don't worry, I've done it for you! 

Previously, I wrote about FREE Math, FREE Literacy, and apps you SHOULD pay for. Right now, let's talk app extras that ROCK!! These are apps that may not fit directly into math or literacy curriculum, but are add-ons that you definitely need for your tech literate classroom.  

This list was super hard to compile - great apps are coming on the market every day.  It is a great place to start though, let's chat a little more about my absolute favs. 

Read a little more about my love affair with Showbie - using our iPads with Showbie makes life A LOT easier. There is just so much you can do with it!

Another MUST in an iPad classroom is a QR scanning app. QR codes are a fun, fast, and logical way to get appropriate content to your students. Here is an example of how we use QRs in our classroom.

This one is both for parents and kids. Remind makes easily communicating with parents in a timely fashion a breeze! Plus you have a record of all your parent contact - hello Danielson teacher evaluation domain 4 - check and check!

Telestory is a fun way to get creative with story making and can get some of your reluctant kiddos rolling!

Last, you are going to think I am crazy. Which I am, but thats besides the point.  Here are three apps that help kids learn to code. I know, my students are 5/6 yrs old. CODING?! No, I can't make you try it, but you should.  

I was VERY skeptical when I introduced Lightbot for Hour of Code this year. HOLY SMOKES! Did my kiddos not only GET it, but the LOVED it!  And...they sat together trying to brainstorm and figure out the code. As in, without my direction, my 5/6 yr olds discussed, problem solved, and collaborated on a topic.  It was INSANE watching and working with them on figuring it out.  Some of the kiddos like Lightbot, which takes more of a lineal path to coding.  Others like Scratch Jr. which is like building a scene that you create code to make the characters function. I could talk about this for hours, but I won't bore you. Ha!

If you want to try some of these bad boys out before getting your kiddos involved, just scan the QRs above. They will take you directly to the app store where you can download the apps for yourself.  

Still looking for more? Download my FREE App Ready Pack, complete with QR cards to help your kiddos access the apps too! If you're just getting started, here are some tips and tricks for ya!

Thanks for stopping by, I would love to hear about the apps that WORK for you and your classroom!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Easy QRs

Want some instant engagement?! QR codes get kids movin' and groovin'. They give my students an opportunity to make choices during centers and work on their iPads - which is always a welcomed activity to them. 

Engagement is key but it isn't the only component that matters in centers.  I look for my students to develop responsibility and motivation to complete their work, so I always include a way students can record work in addition to enjoying their work!

Making QR codes is EASY to do, and you can add them to anything you use in your classroom! They can link to videos, websites, plain text, audio - anything!!

Here is how to make a QR and add it to a document! Follow these easy steps and you will be set in NO time! 

1. Find the video or link you want the QR to go to:

My link is this ABC Mouse "Z" video. So I just click in web address bar and copy the link. 

2. Once your link is copied, open up a new tab, and go to (or another safe sharing website). I do this so that my QRs don't link to You Tube, and so I have a little more control of the content my kiddos can access. You can skip this step if you don't need to create a safe link. 

3. Paste your link into the safe sharing generator, and click "generate link." Then copy this link. 

Now you are ready to go to

If you are not using a link, you can post plain text like I have done below. When my kiddo scans this QR, the word "can" will pop up. If you are using a link move on...

4. Paste your link in the box by the #2. Your QR will be created automatically. Done! Not so fast...let's get the QR into a document. 

5. I DO NOT download the QR. I just drag it with my mouse from the website browser into a Powerpoint file. See how I have my Powerpoint document under my web browser? Just click the QR, drag it until you are hovering over the white page of your Powerpoint and let go, or drop it into the Powerpoint. Voila! 

6. Now that it is in your document, you can make it larger, smaller, crop the sides... Just click on the Qr and you will be able to change it to how you like.

As you can see I have cropped mine to fit next to the animals on my QR Scan and Record task cards. 

Here, I am working on cropping the QR to fit. 

Now you have your QR codes and you are set to print!


As I mentioned, my kiddos record their work after using these QR codes.  I put their recording sheet into the Showbie app on their iPads and they go to town!! You can print the recording sheets easily too and there are a few options that your kids can choose from. 

My kiddos are totally into scanning these QRs that link to ABC Mouse videos. Then they write or color the letter/sound that they watched.  Its great for morning work or earlier finishers! Post each kiddo's response sheet on the wall, or in their folder and they can work on it say after day until complete! Or maybe send it home over the weekend? Just some thoughts.... :o)

Enjoy QRing! Check out my FREE Getting Started with iPads pack if you are just getting started with QRs and/or iPads or you are looking to streamline your classroom management with your tech!

Here are a few other QR resources you may like too!

Thanks for stopping by!