January 27, 2015

Guest Post: Calling an old friend to our classes

I have the great pleasure to have Aysegul Kaban write a guest post about some activities she has tried with her own students. I love reading about real life examples of classroom activities, what about you?

There are many online tools for generating QR codes which you can then use in the classroom. All of these different types of information can be stored in a code: A short piece of text, Website address, Email address, URL… 

Why not try some of these examples? 

Most Smartphones will have a barcode scanner as an app which will read QR codes. I love integrating technology to my classes and I teach English as a foreign language to young adults in İstanbul, Turkey.

This lesson plan was created to revise Past Simple, Present Perfect Simple, and Present Perfect Continuous.

I asked questions about QR codes: E.g. Have you ever seen this? Have you ever used QR code? If yes, where and when did you use it? How do we use QR codes? After getting the answers, I talked about the activity and showed some QR codes and asked the students to solve the mystery of the QR codes on the board.

Although most students had seen QR codes, none of the students were sure about QR codes. Only one of them had a QR code reader on his smartphone. I asked the students to download the free QR code reader. They enjoyed when they first scanned the QR code and asked some other codes to scan.

After doing the first trial, I asked the students to scan the code on the board and do the exercise with their partners. They did the first activity. After 4 minutes, I gave the correct information to the students. Some pairs answered all questions correctly and they felt happy because they realized they knew some information about their teacher’s personal life.

Now that the Students had seen an example, I divided the class into groups of 3 (or 4) and gave each group a self-prepared handout about basic rules of simple past, present perfect and present perfect continuous. I told the students that this was supposed to be a group contest. The winning group of the contest received a surprise at the end. I said I would record the score on the board.

I gave students a handout lacking of example sentences and told students to fill in the gaps. Students started a treasure hunt in the class and when they found they wrote it on the handout. While Students were doing the activity, I observed the groups. I checked answers by asking each group and recorded the score.

You can use QR Codes for many other purposes. Here are some tips for you!

1. You are the best forget the rest badges!

Everybody loves awards. Why don’t we give QR code awards to our students when they achieve something great? Award prizes by having students scan a code leading to an animation or badge. When they accomplish a test on Present Perfect continuous, they can get a special code that takes them to a badge for Present Perfect Continuous Guru!

2. Discovery Stations

You are going to cover a new reading but you want to try something different. Breaking the routine is always good for us and our students. You can put codes in different areas of the class that will take students to different online activities, videos or content. You can use it as a warmup activity or reading activity.

3. Answer Fortuneteller

Have students check their answers by scanning the QR code after completing a test or assignment. As a teacher, you can visually confirm when students are checking their work and can also check in to see how they are doing. Creating QR codes for difficult topics and attaching them to students’ homework. If they get stuck, they can scan the code and watch a video of you working through the problem step-by-step.

4. Provide Extension Assignments

A great way to provide optional activities for students who want to improve is to simply put the code on the class assignment and let them follow it to the extension activity or question. It won't take up much space, and might facilitate a little excitement about the extension assignment. You can give URL of a beautiful song with present perfect continuous tense as a warming activity as a homework.

5. Compile Research

Discovering new things is always exciting and by QR codes we give a chance to discover. You can ask students to make a research about their favorite star and have students create codes linking to start discovered during research. These could be posted in class wikis on a specific topic, or on a wall in the classroom. It helps give them ownership of the research process and literally creates "walls that talk."

Aysegul Liman Kaban works as an English Instructor at Bahçeşehir University. She has finished her BA in TEFL and MA in Interpersonal Communication at Marmara University with distinction. She has been recognized by various entities, such as the ELT BLOGATHON Awards, The German National Agency Teacher Trainer Scholarship, and IELTS Morgan Terry Memorial Scholarship 2013 as an innovative, technology integrated project creator. She has been giving talks and workshops at international and national conferences, especially focusing on Mobile Learning, Google Apps, E-portpholio, digital learning apps. She is also Newsletter Editor of IATEFL TEASIG. She shares regularly on eslaction.wordpress.com and on Twitter (@Aysegul_Kaban).


fiorella diaz said...

Thanks a lot for this idea! I'm now using it to create an activity for my first class in March.


Maria Clara Magalhães said...

Very good idea. Thanks for sharing !!

Maria Clara Magalhães said...

Very good idea. Thanks for sharing !!