Catholic Schools Week, QR Codes, Desmos.com, and Puppy Paws

Catholic Schools Week: We are embracing Catholic Schools Week at St. Augustin. On Saturday, we hosted a culture fair. Each classroom selected a country that one of our families is from… My classroom was Spain. We created tri-fold information boards and had food samples. Visitors received a passport at the door and cycled through each of the classrooms to get a “stamp”. Then, they turned their completed passports in for a chance to win a prize. Lots of families came out; it was a great community-building experience.

Yesterday, our librarian and middle school religion teacher organized a school-wide living rosary. What a wonderful idea! My reading endorsement side absolutely LOVES to hear little ones read aloud. They did so well! Tomorrow, we have an early dismissal for diocesan mass. We have a school-wide bingo game for about thirty minutes before the kids leave. Thursday is pep rally day. And, Friday, the middle school students and teachers get to go to Sleepy Hollow to go tubing in the snow (and we have plenty after today)! When we arrive back at school, the staff will take on our eighth grade class in a “friendly” game of basketball. Such a fun, eventful week!

My research project for the technology integration module for graduate school was to create two original lessons, one game-based and the other project-based. I had so much fun researching online tools and programs and ended up utilizing QR codes for the game-based lesson and www.desmos.com for my project-based lesson plan.

QR Codes: My game-based lesson topic is a review of mean absolute deviation. I created ten problems and found the solutions; I then created a QR code for each (twenty total). For the activity, students would tape QR codes to their backs and go around to their classmates to determine which students “match” (have a problem and a solution). When they come to check their answers with me, they might say “Tina & Sarah are matches” or “Rachel and Jayna are partners”. What I like about QR codes is that, when we play review games in class, I oftentimes combine my classes, so I have students with a variety of ability levels. When using QR codes, I can differentiate so that students are solving appropriate level problems without everyone noticing the differences.

IMG_0074Desmos.com: My project-based lesson topic is a review of plotting points on a coordinate plane and writing linear equations. Students will work with a partner to design a city. They must include 20 establishments (plotted points) and 15 streets (linear equations in standard, point-slope, and slope-intercept form). I actually did this activity with my algebra class before Christmas break this year, but I didn’t like all of the work they had to do to freehand their designs/drawings. I contemplated not doing to the project again, then, I found Desmos! It is an online graphing calculator that allows you to print the final screen. Groups can plot their “establishments” and graph their “streets” in slope-intercept form.


Puppy Paws: As I sat down to compose my blog post, Miss Maci couldn’t help but try to contribute. After a full day together, I think she loves snow days just as much as I do!!



5 thoughts on “Catholic Schools Week, QR Codes, Desmos.com, and Puppy Paws

  1. Kristel,
    Cool idea plotting a map using linear equations. A cool tie-in would be to tell students that this is what computer programmers do to make lines and boundaries in video games.
    Were students able to add establishments/buildings in Desmos.com? I played with it a bit and could only figure out how to do lines. Do I have to create a teacher account?
    Also, Google can create graphs. In the search bar, just type in “graph _____” and it will do it. You can graph multiple functions. I used it for translations. Students can Google search “graph y = x^2 and y=x^2-4 ” and see how the graph translated.
    There is almost nothing Google can do for me these days. Maybe it can do my taxes…


    1. The video game idea is a great one! I created an account and was able to insert a couple pictures when I was playing around with it. Maybe you have to create an account to get all of the features… I plan to have my pre-algebra class do this project at the end of our unit. I’ll let you know how it goes! 🙂 I’ll have to try out the Google graph, sounds quick and easy! And, taxes are awful; I only wish there was a way to use Google!!!


  2. I really liked what you did during Catholic Schools week. There are some good ideas in there for our school next year. I love that you were able to use QR codes. I have not had the chance to use them yet. I do have a question. How did you differentiate the difficulty in the problems? Didn’t the lower students still have to figure out the harder problems in order to match everyone?


    1. I highly recommend the living rosary; it was so neat. And, great question! I did not actually do the activity in my class; however, if I did, my classes (we call them splits) are currently leveled by Iowa Assessment scores. I would just ask that students only solve the problems for students who are in their split.


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