The Vocabulary of QR Codes

Posted by on Jul 26, 2015 in Freebies, Uncategorized, vocabulary | 0 comments

Let’s be honest. The school “gave” me an iPad 2 years ago. I’ve been carrying it around, using it to check email and Facebook. Some of the time the “cha-ching” of a sales works on TpT. In other words, I haven’t used it well.  I did make a few products last year that used QR codes. My kids got to use the iPad a tiny bit for that, but I never really explored the cool ways QR codes could be used beyond self checking.

Here’s my vocabulary of QR codes.

A Quick Response code is a 2 dimensional code is can be scanned without the beam of light need for a barcode scanner.

A QR code when scanned links to websites, videos, images, and information.

A QR generator creates QR codes. There are many QR code generators available for free. Try

A QR reader is a special camera that captures the symbol to read it. There are many free apps easily available.

Data pixels or QR code modules are the name for the black and white dots that make up the code.

Qurifying“is creating your own QR codes. With them you can make whatever you want more interactive.

Here are some great ideas:

1. On a worksheet  QR codes can provide answers for self checking, additional information to enhance understanding, and lead students to a “sponge activity” for early finishers. Here’s an example.

Homophones with QR codes

Homophone Review Page with QR codes








2. Display a QR code for students to scan to take them to a difficult to type website.

3. Create QR code scavenger hunts. Students search websites to gather information for the topic. I am so doing this soon!!!

4. Print QR codes on stickers to go into texts to provide extra information (reading practice).

5. Provide QR codes with video tutorials for help with math!

6. Let students create a QR code note to brag about their day!

I am so excited to really use this tool this year! Please comment with some of the amazing things I’ve been missing in the world of QR codes!


You might like:


Products with QR codes





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My Kids Can’t Spell!

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in Freebies, scavenger hunt, word study | 0 comments

My Kids Can’t Spell!

My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.

~A. A. Milne

My kids can’t spell! Maybe that is because I am not doing word study the right way. Diane Henry Leipzig says “Word study provides students with opportunities to investigate and understand the patterns in words. Knowledge of these patterns means that students needn’t learn to spell one word at a time.” I thought that spelling lists also did this. Each list has a pattern that is explicitly investigated. Kids need to investigate, I really like that word. And they need to talk about their findings. I pretty much gave this up when we were asked to “do” word study instead. I was under the mistaken impression the word study was playing with word wall words a few times a week.

As I read more about word study I am discovering that, yes, I have not been doing it the right way. I guess that can happen when you feel something extra was thrown at you without clear guidelines or expectations. On the otherhand, I am delighted to find that the “Spelling Units” I have been working so hard on this summer actually reflect good word study practices!


Teaching strategies

In word study, teachers encourage students to compare and contrast features in words. One common method for doing so is by having students sort words. When sorting, students use their word knowledge to separate examples that go together from those that don’t.

The first activity I plan to have my students do with their words is a word sort. They are also asked to add other words that they know fit the pattern. Some examples are provided.

In addition to sorting, students may hunt for words in their reading and writing that fit the pattern being studied, may construct a word wall illustrating examples of the different patterns studied, may keep a word study notebook to record the known patterns and their new understandings about words, or may play games and activities to apply their word knowledge (Bear et al., 2000).

Each of my spelling units has a “My Word Collection” flapbook for collecting words from reading. A gameboard is also included with each unit.

A cycle of instruction for word study might include the following:

  • introduce the spelling pattern by choosing words for students to sort
  • encourage students to discover the pattern in their reading and writing
  • use reinforcement activities to help students relate this pattern to previously acquired word knowledge

A Rhyme Time Foldable is included with each unit. Kids have the chance to write some fun couplets with pairs of words with the warning to pay close attention, or get help with possible varient spellings.

Teachers then test students’ pattern knowledge rather than their ability to memorize single words. For example, a teacher might have students work with twenty words during a word study cycle and then randomly test students on ten of those words. For students studying the -at family, a teacher might include the word “vat” on the spelling test even though it wasn’t on the initial spelling list – this allows the teacher to see if students are able to transfer their knowledge of the “at” chunk to a new word they haven’t seen before.

My spelling test, which is a scavenger hunt, has additional words (which may have  been seen at some point throughout the week, but not practiced) for students to apply the pattern being studies.

I am excited and validated by my studies this morning. My frustration with my students poor spelling led me to believe I needed to go back to spelling units. I ‘ve created units (7 done so far) incorporating what I strongly believe to be good practices. Now I know from my reading that I will also be doing a much better job with “word study”.

Spelling Boardgame


Spelling Gameboard

Directions: Decide who will go first. Player 2 picks up a card and reads it to player 1. Player 1 spells the word. If it is spelled correctly, player 1 may go one space for each letter in the word. If spelled incorrectly, player 1 does not move. Player 1 then reads a word for player 2 to spell.

My units come with cards for the game, but any list of words could be written on index cards. In fact, students could make the word cards themselves.

I am hoping the hours I am putting into creating Spelling/Word Study Units this summer will ease my frustration about poor spelling in my classroom.

If you are interested you can find my Spelling Units here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on word study and any tips you have on making my kids better spellers!








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Visualize Vocabulary: Culture

Posted by on Mar 16, 2014 in Freebies, vocabulary development | 2 comments

Visualize Vocabulary: Culture

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

~ Mahatma Gandhi


I have neglected my blog. I think its neglect is based on my lack of focus. I haven’t or hadn’t found a purpose for my blog. My blog name screams to me that it has a purpose, but I’ve ignored that for a mish mash of items with no purpose.

The purpose of my blog is not:

  • to talk about day to day problems at school
  • to share ideas of others that I’ve loved or learned from
  • simply to sell my products from TpT or TN

Then what is its purpose?

I really want to:

  • build (discover, decode, dissect, develop, discuss, define) vocabulary in ways that will help upper elementary teachers (grades 3 – 5?) work with their students
  • share materials that help build vocabulary
  • and as appropriate, point to products on TpT (mine or others, paid or free) that will provide additional support.

I am thinking that I might make “Visualize Vocabulary” a weekly topic. I will get my word from what I am working on for my classroom or from where I perceive a need. I hope that I can build a good blog from this idea.

My first topic is actually Texas culture. My students are supposed to learn about the culture of their state. I realized that they did not have a good understanding of the word culture to build from. Culture has so many parts.

Culture Defined

culture defined
As we discussed the parts, students began to build a definition of culture. I asked students to explore their family culture.

Culture Bubble Map

This bubble map can be reused anytime a new country or culture is explored.  After a basic understanding of culture was built we looked at the culture of Texas.

Texas Culture


Students used this reading to locate facts about Texas culture. They needed to use the various text features to complete the activity. This page works well as a close reading.


Please let me know if this blog post is of value to you and if you feel others like this might be helpful.



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Saturday Extra: Halloween

Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in Freebies | 0 comments

Saturday Extra: Halloween

There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch. ~Robert Brault

Happy Halloween


Happy Halloween

This poster needs the following credits: thanks to Lovin Lit,

Melody Bastin, and

My Cute Graphics

Click on the poster to see all of my Halloween products on TpT. Click on the link to have a copy of the poster.

Happy Halloween!


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Saturday Extra: Good Citizen Foldable

Posted by on Aug 31, 2013 in Freebies, vocabulary, vocabulary development | 0 comments

Saturday Extra: Good Citizen Foldable

I hope everyone who is back to school is enjoying a great start. I know I am with my 18 third graders. We’ve learned a lot about each other this week. I am anxious to do some beginning of year testing to better understand each child’s needs (but not before I enjoy my long weekend, of course).

I am enjoying my long weekend by creating for my classroom and for my Teachers Pay Teachers store! This is what I truly love to do.

We have been asked to begin using a social studies interactive notebook this year.  So I will be creating several types of foldables throughout the year, that I will then share!

Today I made a social studies foldable for us to use in our classroom next week. We will be studying some vocabulary words that describe a good citizen: respectful, responsible, fair, honest, caring, informed, determined, etc. We use words from both a “Be a Good Citizen” lesson in our reading text and pages in our social studies text.

On the foldable the students will write a complete sentence on the back of each flap, then draw a picture of themself performing the act they described under the flap.

We are also making another foldable for defining and illustrating the terms.

Good Citizen Foldable

Good Citizen Foldable

Here are directions for creating the second foldable.

Directions for 4-page book foldable

I have several products you might be interested in for social studies incluing ones on government and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Enjoy your holiday! Have a great week!


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No Time Left

Posted by on Aug 11, 2013 in Freebies, general school | 0 comments

Lost time is never found again.

– Benjamin Franklin

I have had a very productive summer working on new products for TpT. My work has not gone in a linear manner. I get sidetracked by new, fun ideas. I get discouraged at a tough spot and go on to something else. I get excited about making products with different themes and run out of time for making other products. I worked probably 50+ hours each week with one 10 day vacation. I made 70 new products. I probably have another 10 at some point in the creative process. I have a goal of publishing at least 1 and hopefully 2 each week as the school year gets underway.

I have a team leader meeting tomorrow and a team meeting on Wednesday. I will be organizing my classroom during the reminder of the week.

August 19 officially starts teacher in-service days. August 26 is the first day of school. I am excited for my new group to see our penguin filled classroom! I will be posting pictures sometime this week.

Don’t forget it is Fabulous Flash Freebie Sunday! I will have at least 3 flash freebie throughout the day. Plus I have a large selection of freebies (21) in my store. Check them out and leave some feedback!

Flash Freebie Sundays


You can find them here:


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