Are you looking for a great way to connect with families? Try the app/website Seesaw! This is my second year using the app on our classroom tablets for the students to show their creativity and learning. After attending professional development with Cynthia Merrill (Liv Bit’s Mom) to expand our use of technology in the classroom, we were fortunate to try out a highly recommended app, called Seesaw. Think of it as a digital portfolio to hold artifacts, including videos, pictures, drawings, and recordings. This year, parents could download the app on a smartphone and connect to see any items that their children have uploaded (after teacher approval, of course!).
My first grade students have done so many videos this year! Some recorded themselves reading a book aloud, doing a book retell, or even acting the story out with animal voices. Piggy and Elephant were fan favorites this year! They can record a book snap on Technology Tuesday during reading. They take a picture of themselves with a book (BOOK SELFIE!) and can add a voice recording explaining the main ideas and important details.
In math, students were challenged to make their own Khan Academy-style learning videos. Some explained rules for regrouping tens and ones using their preferred strategy. Others could show skip counting skills, counting coins, teaching how a clock works, and measuring items.
One of the best parts about Seesaw is the ability to create an “activity”. You can write directions that will be visible to the kids and record yourself reading them. All students can add the activity into their own journals and complete it as assigned. You will have a dashboard to see who has and has not completed their assignment! If you’re pinched for time, choose one of the 1000s of shared assignments from other teachers. As soon as you approve it, your students’ parents get an alert indicating that they have something to see. All of this can be connected with Google Classroom.
Other features include an optional classroom blog, sending class announcements like concert reminders, and “text messaging” directly with parents. Families are invited to “comment” or “like” any activity. I love how the parents can give feedback to their children! I look forward to seeing what they say. If your school loves Seesaw too, they can opt to buy the premium edition allowing teachers to align standards to assignments and have unlimited activities/classes. Feel free to email me any questions/ideas and I can give you hand getting started.
My class loves to Seesaw! Maybe yours would too!
Kittredge Elementary, Grade 1