Eight Ways to Use QR Codes in the Elementary Classroom

Number One: Differentiate Instruction
By using QR Codes in the classroom, you can link students to work that is tailored to their level.  Whether you are thinking about instruction in reading, mathematics, social studies, or science, all students walk into your room needing different things.  As the teacher, you can use QR Codes to link each and every student or small group to something that is tailored to fit their needs.  Have a reading passage in three or four different reading levels?  Perfect!  Link a QR Code to a PDF version of each of the different passages.  Your students won’t know who has what or the differences between the passages given.

Number Two: Engage Students
By using QR Codes at the beginning of a lesson or center, you instantly engage your students.  Maybe you want students to write about a given topic at the writing center, but you need to engage them in the topic or subject.  BAM!  A quick video that can usually be found online quickly about that topic and your students are quickly ready to write!

Number Three: Provide Background Knowledge
Need help building background knowledge for unfamiliar experiences?  QR Codes can be a great solution by allowing students to scan the QR Code and take you directly to an image, video, or short reading passage that you have selected.  For example, you are beginning a new unit or text that may be difficult for them to visualize or understand, a quick video or image can help your students better understand the setting or experiences being discussed.

Number Four: Save Time
Need to have web addresses, pdf files, documents, or other important materials at your students finger tips?  This is possible through the use of QR Codes.  Students can be viewing the website of your choice within seconds of scanning.  Image how much time you would save without saying to your students, “Ok, type in, http…(pause)… ://…(pause)…www……”  After five minutes of spelling out each and every part, you still find yourself telling three or four students, “OOOOOOH goodness!  You didn’t type it correctly…..let’s see what might have been left out.”

Number Five: Reveal Answers
Can’t help each and every student at once?  Shame on you!  (*sarcasm*) Allow your students to receive instant feedback through the use of QR Codes.  In math or other subjects where work can be shown, you can even insert images of YOUR work to allow students to not only see the correct answer but the process in which you found that particular answer.

Number Six: Listening Centers
Tired of your kids wasting time by messing with your CD or tape player?  You can create audio recordings of your favorite books and link them using QR Codes.  This can easily be done by printing out the QR Code and using clear packing tape to secure it to the book.  Then, when you place a series of books at the listening center, everyone grabs a device with a QR Code Reader and they are ready to hear your beautiful voice fluently read aloud to them!

Number Seven: Provide How to Videos or Directions
Tired of repeating the same thing multiple times?  Have a student who needs something repeated multiple times?  Create a QR Code with the link attached to your video and students can replay your directions or steps to complete a problem as many times as needed.  You make your life easier, and allow students to have access to everything needed to be successful on that given assignment.

How do you use QR Codes?  Comment below so others can see!

Want directions on how to make them yourself?  Click the image above for a free download! 



  1. Sailing into Second
    June 11, 2014 / 2:50 am

    I loved learning all about these at the CUE Conference I attended last spring! FUN, FUN, FUN! 🙂

    Sailing into Second

  2. Unknown
    June 11, 2014 / 3:10 am

    I have used QR codes when we have open houses at school. I make large copies of QR codes to hang in the hallway and in my room. The QR codes link to student projects like a Prezi or PicCollage they have created. I have also included them in my beginning of the year parent packet. It allows parents to easily link to the school website or any other site I would like them to be checking. Great post!

  3. Amanda D!
    June 11, 2014 / 4:19 pm

    What great ideas!! I've never used QR codes before (I know, I know…I'm a teacher from the dark ages!). Your blog gives lots of ways to start. Thanks!!

  4. hsamuelson
    June 11, 2014 / 4:47 pm

    I love all the ideas for QR codes! Thanks for the share. I just created a station for missing addend and subtraction with 10 using Gatorade lids and QR codes. I'm excited to share more about the QR codes with my team.
    Mrs. Samuelson's Swamp Frogs

  5. aware
    June 12, 2014 / 4:28 am

    Thank you for sharing these ideas. I just started using QR codes in my Kindergarten classroom this year. We used them for listening centers on our tablets. The kids thought it was super cool! I would love to use them more and in other ways.

  6. Carol
    June 12, 2014 / 12:44 pm

    Love the ideas! I'm just getting started with QR codes. I've used them for parents to access a Google Form for Meet the Teacher Night and I added one to our class scrapbook page for our retiring principal that linked to a video we made for him. So many possibilities!
    Still Teaching After All These Years

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