I recently discovered how to use QR Codes, and it turns out that they are very easy to create, and they have many different uses in the classrooms. QR codes are a great tool to get students engaged and moving by placing them in separate areas of your classroom or school building. They are also an excellent resource to keep things new and exciting for your students. In my experience, most students were able to scan the QR code with their smartphones. The few students who didn’t have a phone available worked with other students. You can store several types of information on a QR code such as:
I have mainly used QR codes to give students access to information such a short text or quiz, to provide them with a link to a video or web address. But there are many different novel ways to use QR codes. Click here to learn more about how to use QR Codes in the classroom.
Here ar some of my students using QR codes to learn about poisson d’avril . You can access my poisson d’avril lesson here.
What are infographics?
Infographics are a visual representation of complex data and information. Think of it as pie chart on steroids.
What’s so great about infographics?
Infographics are very engaging and help deliver comprehensible messages. Additionally, they are a great tool for visual learners.
How can infographics be used in world language classes?
They can be used as text, as reading comprehension practice, as a Common Core strategy, as a hook to initiate discussion, to summarize a novel or describe a character in the novel and to talk about culture. Additionally, students can create their own infographics to break down information from multiple sources.
How do I use it in my own classroom?
I have used infographics mainly to introduce a topic and to talk about culture.An infographic provides the visuals and the vocabulary to start a meaningful conversation. For instance, in chapter two of Problemas en Paraiso by Carol Gaab, the main two characters are preparing to go on a trip to Ixtapa, Mexico. So I used an infographic I found online to initiate a discussion about vacations and family trips.
- Have the students read the infographic silently.
- Each student will write a question about the information on the infographic.
- Have students share their questions with a partner.
- Teacher will ask comprehension questions in the target language.
- Personalize by asking students in the target language: Where does your family go on vacation? How often do you go on family trips? Do you like to go to the mountains or the city? What do you like about family vacations? etc.
- Optional: Have students create their own infographic about family vacations or comparing vacations in the USA with other countries (in this case, it was USA vs. Spain) Here is my infographic
I confess, I dropped the ball with enforcing my number 1 rule:
In Spanish class we only speak Spanish
In French class we only speak French
I am good at staying in the target language myself. I was so good at enforcing this sacred rule with my students, but lately I haven’t been enforcing it. My favorite TCI trainer Jason Fritze, told me that this is the most important rule and under no circumstances his students are allowed to speak English without raising their hands and asking for permission. He gave me some very good ideas to stay in the target language 90% of the time. First, I need to explain to my students why this rule is so important. Then, I need to teach them a gesture for when they need to speak English. They will only use this gesture in an emergency situation. I will follow my own rule and ask the class “May I speak English?” Lately I’ve been teaching my Spanish level 2 students synonyms, so now every time they ask me what does a word mean I say this word is a synonym of this. Example:
¿Qué quiere decir alumno?
Alumno es un sinónimo de estudiante.
This strategy has been very useful and it allows me to avoid using English. Another strategy I learned from Jason Fritze is not to let the class turn into the dreaded ¿Cómo se dice..? or insufferable Comment dit-on? game. In other words, students will communicate by using the words that they have acquired at the moment. Lastly, keep your class fun and positive by praising and rewarding those who follow the rules. This will encourage students’ participation and use of the target language.