WEEK 10 – 12th March 2019
During this weeks input, we were looking at taking learning outside using QR codes. (Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2010) states that “Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds of adventures further afield, provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.” For some pupils, being stuck within the same four walls from 9-3 can be a very long day, infact, this is probably the case for most pupils. Therefore, taking lessons out width the classroom, whether that be just within the corridors and open areas of the school. Or further, out to the playground or away on a trip. “It’s clear that the outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities from pre-school years through to college.” (Education Scotland, 2010) Not only does outdoor learning motivate pupils to learn, it also has other, long term benefits, which include:
- Developing critical thinking skills – As it helps children make links between curricular areas.
- Personal development – Pupils learn skills in areas such as communication, problem solving and working with others.
- Promotes healthy lifestyle – It can lead to lifelong recreations, such as hill walking, cycling, skiing or sailing.
- Personal safety – Provides opportunities for children to develop skills and access and manage risks.
- Inclusion for all – Can provide opportunities for children to use a range of skills and abilities not always visible in the classroom.
Outdoor learning also provides pupils a chance to express themselves. The way children act within a classroom setting, will be completely different to how they act when they are free on the outdoors. Therefore, “the outdoor environment encourages staff and students to see each other in a different light, building positive relationships and improving self-awareness and understanding of others.” (Education Scotland, 2010)
As a group, we decided to come up with a QR code game, within the campus that was first level maths related. Our idea was that, children are given a shopping list, with an area to write sums and cost.
The QR codes will all have a sum using pennies and the answer to the sum tells the children what room to go to next. For example, 12p+10p=22p therefore, the children would have to go to room 22. At the next room, there will be a QR code and another sum. The QR code, once scanned, will tell them what item to check off their shopping list and the room number/answer to the sum will be the cost of the item which will be recorded in the shopping list. Once all items are checked off the shopping list, children will add up the cost of all the items to get the total cost for their shopping list.
Once we came up with our idea, it was time to bring it to life. We accessed a QR code generator online and started working our way through it. At first, we had to select which type of code we wanted, for example, if we wanted it to link to an email address, Facebook etc. We chose to select the ‘plain text option’ as all we wanted to include was the shopping item and the sum. The website we chose was quite easy to work, with only 3 steps to creating the QR code. However, one thing we would have liked would be to be able to include images in it rather than just text on its own. As we felt it would be more exciting if it had images of the items from the shopping list rather than just stating them.
Our next step was to print off the QR codes and place them outside the correct room numbers around the university.
To ensure our lessons worked, we swapped with another team to complete each-others QR game. The team that completed ours came back with all positive feedback, and said that they enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction that came with having the shopping list on hand to check off.
Overall, I really enjoyed working with the QR codes. Looking into the future, I think this is something that I would definitely bring into my classroom. It was a fun exciting way of completing sums, however, could also easily be used to convey information to the children. Looking back at our lesson, I decided to come up with some development points. One of which was, taking into account the other levels. For example, for second level, I could develop the lesson by having 3 apples on the list, requiring children to times the cost of one apple by 3. Which would help develop their money as they need to be aware of the significance of place value for pounds and pennies.