Math QR Codes

First I will start off with, what are QR codes?  I know some freak out on hearing the term codes. A QR code is  "a specific matrix bar code ( or two-dimensional code ), readable by dedicated QR bar code readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL, or other data."

To view or scan a QR code you will need :
  • A phone with a camera or a Smart phone ( iPhone, Android phone, Windows phone 7etc ). Most Smart phones will have a bar code scanner as an app which will read QR codes
  • A program that lets you scan them ( check the list of such programs below. they are free )
  • You must have access to Internet when you are to scan a QR code.
  • If you don't have a phone you can use your desktop or net book provided it has a web cam to read the codes

QR codes were initially used just for commercial and advertising purposes but over the past three years teachers and educators have been talking about them as cool effective learning tools to be used in the classroom. Let us now try to  explore together the potential of these tools in education.  If you need more information for QR codes follow this site:

QR codes are gaining momentum in today's technology.  They are popping up everywhere and across the business and social landscape.  Located in the link below is the teacher's guide on the use of QR codes in the classroom.

One Step Equation word problems, students will be able to set up and solve a one-step equation word problem and write a unique story problem of their own using various iPad tools.  Each of the 5 QR codes on the paper contains a link to the PDF document containing a word problem for a student to set up and solve. You can follow the link below to the actual worksheet and directions. 

Check out the link here:

You can use QR codes to link to free eBooks like this one does on a lamppost  except yours will either be in your classroom window or posted outside.  Students can scan the QR code to find the place to download a free eBook and begin reading.  This would be a great way to get students involved in reading mathematics and other ways to see how they can get involved in school.

How to make QR codes with your iPad:
50 Examples of QR codes:

You can also use QR codes to link to a Google Form.  This creates a simple way teachers and students can ask for tech assistance.  Teachers and students can scan the QR code and ask for assistance then either the tech coordinator can view the Google Doc at any time and give assistance where assistance is needed.

 I decided to incorporate the QR scans and create an Open House Scavenger Hunt to give the parents and kids the information needed to begin the new school year.  As the students arrived, there was an iPad and the first page of the scavenger hunt on their desk.  They were instructed to work through the scavenger hunt with the help of their parents. The bottom scan gives the next clue.  When they scan the QR scan at the top, it asks them to check out the binder on the table.  That way they can set up their binders before the first day of school.  This is a huge time saver for me!!
One of the best ways to start off the school year is by providing your information to students and with you can put your information in to a vCard.  A vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards and can be attached to email messages.  

The best way to engage your students is to make old posters in your classroom more interactive and interesting by adding QR codes to them.  For example, the old poster of Bo Jackson reading poster, students may not know who he is, but with a QR code like the one on the left hand side, you can link to a website that will give a brief summary of him.  You can add QR codes to other posters in your classroom, especially math terms posters or posters that show students that you can use math outside of the classroom.

A couple of months ago I saw an image of a QR Code made out of Lego!  So, I got some Lego and raided my mum's childminding boxes (all of which are toys that used to be mine, including all of my old Lego!!) to create my very own Lego QR Code. The brilliance about it is that it scans just like a normal QR Code on a poster/paper!  I intend to have this up in my classroom next year. It is the QR Code for my mrcollinsmaths YouTube Channel.

You can create classroom posters using QR codes.  In the math classroom I would use them as a place to gain more information about a particular concept.  I have the DVD of Calculus: The Musical.  I would put the picture of the DVD cover in the center and then surround it with different concepts they covered in the musical and how we could incorporate it into the classroom.  You could use other poster to use as stations where students scan the QR code and it could be to a Khan Academy video and they could watch and gain information about what the next concepts will be.

For a project students can create a timeline of a math historian such as Pythagoras, Archimedes, Brahmagupta, Euclid, or many others.  Students can use other websites with information on their history, concepts they came up with, and interesting facts about them.

Two tools you can use are located below for special QR codes such as fancy QR codes and ones to attach maps, passwords, and messages.

Publishing companies will be adding QR codes to its hardcover and trade paperback book covers beginning in the fall of 2012.  When the book jacket QR codes are scanned by a smart phone, the user is redirected to the mobile page for the author. There, they can learn more about the author and his or her other publications and even view a video of an author interview when available.  Students can put QR codes like these in student interactive notebooks.

Have students use QR codes that connect sources to the page.  QR codes can also be used to tell more about a particular subject area in paper.

Let your students get creative, have students come up with their own ways of using QR codes in the classroom.  Many students created their own QR codes and linked their hand-written books to their blogs or websites.

Give students a compliment for the work they have done.  Have copies made of QR codes with written compliments on them such as: "good work," "good answer," and "excellent idea!"  These work great for classrooms that are up and moving around.  Sometimes I give them out occasionally when students aren't prepared for them.  Sometimes it is on review day and if they are working silently and getting the material done I will give them one.

Using QR codes outside of you classroom is a great way at the beginning of the year to introduce yourself and say a little bit about who you are and introduces QR codes to the students on the first day.  QR codes outside of your classroom, you can post bonus questions where students can come up to you and get a prize.  Possibly if they scanned on a certain day they only get to do the evens or odds.

You can even put QR codes on sticky notes for students to use on their assignments as they work.  If they need to check an answer they scan the code and up comes the answers to the homework.  Students can even create their own problems to put in the book for next years students.  Having students create their own problems and coming up with a solution to it is a great way to get students interested in and a great review activity for them to do.

Using QR codes as a station, like the one in the picture where it gives you the answer and you have to use the QR code to scan the question is a great way to get students up and moving around the classroom and even more so using problem-solving techniques to even think of what the question might be if you are given the answer first.

Giving students a frame of reference, or a problem.  Given that the top was a worked out example of a two-step equation and then the student had to solve the next row down.  Then the QR code at the bottom was the answer to the question is a great way for students to see the problem worked out and then the problem they did, worked out in the correct way is a good way of students learning from their own mistakes.
In a station, given a table like the one on the left, link the QR code to a web 2.0 tool such as Create-a-Graph where students use an online graphing tool on a smart phone or laptop to come up with what the bar-graph and line-graph look like.

From the you can use these skill posters in the math classroom with a little tweaking. You can have the objective at the top of the page, a Khan Academy video on the side, the skill breakdown, and then examples the students can do on the side as the get practicing piece.  This would be a great way for a flipped class learning mini-section.

You can use these tools with these tools you can use QR codes in your PowerPoint to make your presentations more interactive with twitter, you can have instant feedback slides and cut and paste into your PowerPoint slides.  This is a free download!
You can use codes on your syllabus to link to a page that you can update your office hours and changing availability outside of class. Include QR codes in PowerPoint presentations or in course handouts to link to relevant web pages with further information on the topics you’re discussing in class. Pod casts and YouTube videos can also be added to hard copies of your presentations to bring regular black and white documents to life. Additionally, you can employ a QR code to connect your students to surveys to gain feedback about how the class is going. One of the best ways to engage students is to simply ask them what they think and ask what they want to see more of. QR codes are an innovative way of doing this.

There are many different sites that allow you to use QR codes as scavenger hunts in the classroom. The first one is probably the best and the easiest to use when you are in a rush: The second one is if you have the most time on your hands and you can place them throughout the classroom: and the last one, probably the hardest to use and you need to sign-up to use it, but I believe you can create badges to go along with your QR codes, but here it is:

You can share your paper documents into virtual copies using TagMyDoc.  It is a free download from now you can easily tag and store your document into the cloud, when they scan the QR code a digital copy is now on their phone, iPad, or other devices.

Here is a link to a St. Patrick's Day lesson where students analyze information surrounding the life of St. Patrick.  Students will analyze images and websites and make their own limerick.  It goes over using QR codes and how to have the students use them in this instance.  Students use the QR codes to create a e-card.

Kaywa offers a QR code generator, but also if you sign up you can create and send how many QR codes you need.  With the green button you can create "safe" QR codes that won't change and will always be directed to the site you want your students to get to.  If you sign-up and pay the charge, you can get powerful analytics showing who scanned your code, when, where, and with what device.

The instant access you provide students when integrating QR codes in to the math classroom.

  • Homework Check-In via Google Form: a routine at the beginning of every class period, where students will check in with their progress. I love spreadsheets and the multitude of options for viewing the information that is submitted by students will allow for easy tracking of entire classes and student-by-student.
  • Access Class Websites: each table group will have a laminated copy of 5-6 QR codes that have a sub-title showing where each one leads.
  • Scavenger Hunts: students love the simple fold a paper in half and tape it to the wall scavenger hunt. Adding technology to the mix allows me to re-use the activity each year, without using any additional paper.
  • Digital Portfolios: students create a QR code to their edublog site and give one to me and tape one to our classroom community wall. This idea was generated here.
  • Math Stations: no need to print out the handouts, as students will scan the code and have the directions/activities displayed on the screen. Use of spirals and/or iPad whiteboards will go along with this.
  • Parent Communication: all handouts sent home to parents will have a code where they can access the same information online, possibly with more details, and the opportunity to contact me from there.
  • Create Study Guides: convert my practice and study resources into QR codes that students can take home on a small piece of paper and scan at home.Thinking about more ideas in this area for the classroom, as well. Maybe having a QR catalog that I can hand to a group who needs extra help, practice, guidance, ideas for a project, etc.
  • Room Checkout System: where the student scans the code, fills out the quick Google Form with just his/her name. Upon returning, scans the code again and I now have an instant log where I can go back to check frequency of students being out of the classroom, if needed. 


  1. Great ideas! I heard about QR codes late last year and tried to get going, but could never seem to copy the QR code into a word document and then have it work. I'll have to try again. I think we could have a lot of fun with these! Thanks for the ideas.

  2. This looks like a lot of fun! I may use it with my computer club too.

  3. Curious on more information about using Google Docs as a check in for homework. Can you explain more?

  4. I'd love to use QR codes in a math station format but am having difficulties. I would like to type up a problem in Word (or a PDF) and then have a QR code they can scan to see the problem. What do you suggest for this? I can't really type the problem in as "plain text" but can't see a way to link to a document. I tried tagmydoc, but found it strange once the student went to open it. Also, they only allow 10 free tags. Thanks!

    1. I don't know where to house the answer for the math problem to create a qr code to pull it up?

    2. I would make a google doc or a pdf they can pull up. Some QR code generators will just allow text or a math problem to be entered.

  5. Everyone likes to use QRCode, just like our products can read barcode on PDF and barcode generate , support various barcode types, including QRCode, I hope everyone can download and try