At the beginning of the year I started to use a digital portfolio program called Seesaw. Many people are very familiar with this app now as it has taken over the elementary school scene as the next “big thing”. My school is one of the pilot schools for this program for Wake County. I am now on a committee of teachers that will attend digital portfolio workshops throughout the year. These workshops will help us learn more about this program and to see what other digital portfolio platforms are out there. We will also be expected to share how we are using this program in our class and how other teachers should be using it. Since being on this team I have taken it upon myself to really dive into Seesaw and find out all the possibilities it can bring into my classroom. I am now one week into our second semester of second grade and have seen all the opportunities it has given to my teaching and students, especially in the form of literacy.
Before I started this class I had a very narrow perception of what the word literacy could mean. I now understand that literacy is so much more than reading. Literacy is talking, explaining, writing, reading, collaborating, and producing–all things that Seesaw allows students, teachers, and parents to do. Seesaw allows students to share and gives them a genuine audience to share with (classmates, teachers, principal, parents, and even the world). This has grown my learning community and strengthened the way my students are becoming literate. Below are some examples of ways in which I use Seesaw to enhance literacy in all subject areas:
Math– EXPLAINING, JUSTIFYING, CLARIFY– All buzz words students see when they are asked to explain their thought process through a math problem. I have now started to use Seesaw as an exit ticket at the end of our math lessons. Students either work alone or with a partner and have to explain what they learned that day using any of the Seesaw tools. Many of the students prefer to take a video using manipulatives and white boards to explain or to take a picture of their problem and “draw” on the picture to explain their thinking with text. I always encourage students to use our vocabulary words in their descriptions. This has given me a focus for my exit tickets and allowed students to summarize what we have done for the day before moving on.
English Language Arts– In English I also like to use Seesaw as a form of assessment. For example, we are finishing up our text features unit and I gave my students a text features scavenger hunt to complete using Seesaw (resource here ). The students were able to work together to complete it and it was great review for explaining and identifying text features. I also like to have students practice their fluency using Seesaw. During reading group I will have students read their book and record it or record themselves reading their fluency passages. Some students have fluency folders in which they practice the same passage all week and then on Friday they get to record themselves reading it on Seesaw! I also like to use it as a place where students can post their work. During writing workshop students post their final copies onto Seesaw and comment on each other’s work. This also gives parents an opportunity to see the final copies of student work.
Maker space– After our maker space activities I have students post a video reflection with their group. In this video students discuss what went well, what went wrong, and what could be improved on for next time based on their time in the maker space lab. We watch the videos together and reflect on it as a class.
Science/Social Studies– Thus far this year we have used the blogging aspect of Seesaw to blog about concepts we are learning in these subject areas. Students have also blogged about their 20time projects through Seesaw and blogged about the animal they are researching. The blogging feature is great because you can either make it private to the class or you can share it with the world!
There are many different ways that Seesaw can be used to share literacy. My goal for this year is to be open to learning new tools and learn more ways to reach my students.