Category Archives: VSRA2015



For the past few days, I’ve been at the 2015 VSRA Conference soaking up so many wonderful professional development opportunities.  I’ve attended sessions about summer reading loss, engaging reluctant readers, and vocabulary, just to name a few.  I tweeted a lot about the different sessions, at least as long as my battery lasted!

I appreciate the rejuvenation provided by conferences like this one.  I cannot imagine my professional life without these experiences.  I left today’s conference with new tools for my teaching toolbox that I can pull out first thing Monday morning.  In addition, I had the opportunity to talk to other educators who are also passionate about literacy.  These are the experiences that help me be a better teacher.

Preparing my presentation #sol15


I have been immersed in web tools all day.  I’ve been going through Thursday’s presentation and refining PowerPoint slides and making sure that I have examples to share with participants.  I’ve added, deleted, and added information again and again.  I don’t want to waste anyone’s time and I want to provide ideas that these folks can take back to their classrooms and immediately use.  I also want the session to be interactive so that people can experience what it’s like to use the tools that I plan to highlight.

QR Codes are one tool that I will be sharing with teachers.  We see QR codes everywhere, from  our cup at McDonald’s to grocery and department stores.  While QR codes are typically used for advertising purposes, they can be used in the classroom, too.  I plan to first show participants how to create a QR code, which is fairly easy, thanks to websites like  Then, we’ll explore how QR codes can be integrated into daily literacy instruction.  For example, students can share book recommendations via QR codes.  After they read a book, they can create a QR code that provides a brief summary of the book and whether or not they would recommend that book to their peers (with an explanation).  The QR codes can then be posted around the classroom so that other students can scan them when they’re looking for something to read.  The books that have QR code recommendations can be kept in an easily accessible place in the classroom.

In addition, students can create a QR code that contains their autobiography without explicitly identifying themselves.  Other students could scan the code, read it, and try to figure out who the autobiography represents.  Students would really have to focus on the details provided by their peers in order to figure out who wrote each autobiography.

These are just a couple of the suggestions that I have for using QR codes.  I could go on and on, though!