We have been getting a lot of questions from our Spanglish readers about the QR Codes that are included in some of our latest resources.
I have to say, I’ve always been the techie type, and a self-proclaimed “gadget girl.” However, this recent discovery has been revolutionary for us! Ideally, I would have all the time in the world to sit down with a child on my lap to read stories and sing songs until their brain is saturated with rich language input.
While we try to savor those moments when they come, the reality is that life is busy! Our time is limited, and QR Codes have been a great way to maximize independent learning even down to our preschoolers.
What are QR Codes?
QR stands for “quick response” code, and was originally developed for the automotive industry in Japan. Due to the fast readability rate and ability to store lots more information than a standard bar code, QR codes quickly became a slick advertising tool. With smartphones abounding, people can now use their cell phone camera to scan the little white square filled with black squares in a seemingly random pattern. The magic is that this “code” can connect to a website, image, YouTube video, pdf of a product manual, sales ad, etc.
For example, on my “theoretical” business card I could add a QR code that directs people to the website of our Spanglish Shop. (I just whipped this up quick as an example. No judging. hehe)
How do I use a QR Code?
Step 1) Open the QR Reader on your smartphone or tablet.
If your device doesn’t come with a built-in reader, you might have to download one from your app store. Our favorite is called I-nigma. It is free and available both for IOS and Android. It is not the fanciest app, but it was one of the fastest loading I could find that had zero advertisements. If you are looking for a great QR Code reader for children with no ads, i-nigma is the best option (of the 20+ I downloaded and tested in the spring of 2018.)
Step 2) Point the camera at the the QR code. (Usually, your device will automatically recognize the code. You don’t have to press something to take a picture.)
Step 3) Tap the notification to be taken to the destination of the QR code.
Watch this video to see just how quick and easy it is…
Why use QR Codes in Spanish learning?
- a great way to motivate children
- encourage more interaction with the Spanish language
- foster that home-school connection empowering parents to get involved
- model correct pronunciation
Our Favorite Ways to use QR Codes in Spanish
Connect QR codes to teaching videos
When first meeting our Alfa Animales, children learn a little about what makes them unique. It is also important that they learn the correct way to pronounce the letter sound, and how to do each animal’s sign language signal. The Alfa Animales Coloring Book uses a QR code to connect to a short video that teaches all of this!
Connect QR Codes to Spanish stories being read
Audio books are a great way to develop listening skills and vocabulary, while mini books are just right for supporting beginning readers in the process. The Vocabulary Mini Books have been so popular with children, that we are working on converting many more of our mini books into a read-along version. Check out the chart here to see which bundles include mini books.
Help with Spanish pronunciation
Trying to teach children their letter sounds? The Abecedario Alphabet Chart makes it very easy for both children and parents to practice with the correct pronunciation. By scanning the QR Code, children hear an MP3 version of the Alphabet Chant. They can also practice their one-on-one correspondence as they “read” the chart.
Connect QR Code to Spanish music
Music is an amazing teaching tool! By scanning the code on the song sheets, children can not only hear the song and sing along, they can also follow along with the exact lyrics. It is a great way to reinforce those literacy and language skills. Songs sheets for 12 different themes are included in both the Spanish Preschool Vocabulary Bundle and Spanish Deluxe Vocabulary Bundle.