Greece and Rome Geocaching

Third Grade went Geocaching in Mrs. Weikle’s room during their study of Greece and Rome! Using GPS units, students worked in teams to locate hidden boxes outside the school. The boxes contained clues about either Greece or Rome or neither. Students had to figure out which! It was cold, but everyone had a blast!

There are two versions of the activity–one that uses GPS units (Geocaching), and one that uses iPads or iPods with QR code readers.


1.  Print the cards on different colored tagboard (blue, red, yellow).  Use the Answer Sheet to divide the cards between 6 boxes.

2.  Hide the boxes around the school yard and mark each location with the gps unit.

3.  Divide the students into no more than six groups.  Give students the blank answer sheet, a pencil, gps unit, and an order strip.

4.  Have students find the boxes in the order on the strip.  When they find the box, they read the clues and determine which color card matches which civilization.  They record colors on their answer sheets.


QR Codes

1.  QR cards on tagboard.  Divide them between 6 boxes.

2.  Place the boxes around the room (as stations).

3.  Divide the students into no more than six groups.  Give students the blank answer sheet, a pencil, an iPod/iPad loaded with a QR code reader (we use Inigma).

4.  Have students rotate through the stations and scan the QR codes.  Students must determine which color card matches which civilization.  They record on colors on their answer sheets.

Cross posted on the Oak Grove Digital Archive and Adventures in Learning Geocaching Blog.

Video Book Reports

Students in Mrs. Bralley’s class created Video Book Reports.  They wrote scripts, recorded videos on the iPads, and took pictures of themselves holding their books.  After their videos were uploaded to Vimeo, they created QR codes to link to them.  Mrs. Bralley hung their pictures with the QR codes in the hall so people could scan them and listen to their book reports.  You can find their videos here: Video Book Reports   It was a great project!

Cross posted on the Oak Grove Digital Archive.

High Tech Snowmen at night

Students in Mrs. Osburn’s writing classes introduced their new class blogs with high tech snowmen! They created snowmen based on the book, Snowmen At Night, and wrote short blog posts about them. Then, they created QR Codes to attach to their snowmen. When parents came for the 5th Grade Music program, they were able to scan the QR codes, read the corresponding blog posts, and leave comments for the students.


Check out their blogs here:

Rotation 1

Rotation 2

Rotation 3

Would you please leave a few comments for these new bloggers?


Computer Lab Makeovers

I work at three different schools, and they each have two computer labs.  Periodically I’ve tried to add posters and other decorations to the lab walls, but haven’t been able to really add things like I’ve wanted.  So this year, I spent time making posters and bulletin board items that focus on some of the new things teachers are being asked to cover while in the lab.  I made 6 copies of everything, made an appointment to use the district laminator, and bought a bunch of stick goo and tape.  The labs now look completely different, and I’m really happy with their transformation.  I wish I’d taken before and after pictures because the labs are all very different in their setup, but I did not.

To get ideas, I first started in Teachers Pay Teachers.  If you haven’t checked out this site before, it has great resources made by teachers for teachers…and most things are free or cheap.  I bought copies of MS Word icons for three of my labs to help assist with the new online writing push.  I added some signs to split these icons onto tabs (for MS Office 2007 and 2010).  I also bought a couple of copies of Technology ABCs for two of my labs that have space for an alphabet around the top of the room.  I also got some great ideas from looking at some of the other posters and signs on this site.

Keyboarding is being pushed by our district because of the SOL Writing Tests students are now having to type online.  I would really like some giant keyboard posters for each lab, but they are expensive.  The ideas I’ve seen using take-out boxes to create your own would also be expensive and time consuming when I’d need to make them for six labs.   Since I couldn’t  afford to buy six giant keyboard posters, I made my own signs about Keyboarding rules (and the Homerow).  Feel free to use them too if you would like.  I’m including pictures so you can see how I mounted these rules on colored paper.  Later maybe I’ll find a deal on giant keyboards or think of a quicker way to make them.  I’d love suggestions!

Keyboarding Rules (Posture, Finger Position, Homerow)

QR Codes are the latest and greatest craze in education, so for fun, I posted computer jokes with QR Code answers.  I posted these all around the lab.  You can snag those here:

computer qr codes
QR Computer Jokes

And our labs have had outdated rules (if there are any posted at all), so I create five posters for lab rules.  I did get this idea from the Elementary Tech Teachers Ning.  I made multiple copies of the signs for each lab.  First, I hung all the rule posters in one area, and then I hung copies of individual signs around the room.  The Arrival and Dismissal signs went on the front and back of the door, and the Be Nice to Each Other, Be Nice to Computers, and Internet Rules I hung in various places around the lab near the computers.  Here they are if you want to use them:

Computer Lab Rules

Finally, in some of my labs, I still had space, so I posted Control Key shortcuts.  You can find those below:

Control Key Posters

I’d love more ideas…so if you have any for me, please leave a comment below!

Pirate Joke QR Codes

I love International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19)!  Well, basically, I just love Pirates!!  I usually do something with geocache treasure hunting on this day, but this year I’m adding QR Code Pirate Fun.  I’m posting Pirate Jokes with QR Code answers around the school.   I know this activity isn’t all that education (though I think understanding jokes is a great higher level thinking activity and it’s a great way to practice reading skills), but my main goal is to excite students (and hopefully teachers too) about QR Codes and iPod/iPad use.  Students will be using the app i-nigma to find the answers to these jokes.  I’ll let you know how it goes!  Meanwhile, if you want to use these Pirate QR Code Jokes for Talk Like A Pirate Day,here’s where you can get them!

Pirate QR Code Jokes