Coronavirus, Snow Days, Monsoon season, rained out? Educators everywhere are trying to provide a quality education for their students. While nothing is as good as in person, we can make home learning meaningful by following a few tips while using Seesaw.
- Make it hands-on- The need to manipulate, observe, and experiment don’t go away just because students are at home. They do hands on learning at home all the time through their natural world. How can we, as educators, capitalize on their home environment to bring forth quality learning?
- Use the camera- Ask students to take pictures of their hands on learning. Use the camera feature to inspire students to find connections to their learning in their environment at home. We know students need to practice their presentation skills, ask them to give their book report or biography through video.
- Involve the parents- Parents want to know what their students are learning. Asking parents to play a game with their student or build a terrarium allows students to learn with the most influential person in their lives. Capitalize on their time with loved ones by assigning an interview, encourage them to share 5 fascinating facts about their relative.
- Relevancy- Studying multiplication facts? Learning about patterns? So many of the items in a household can be used for learning. Asking students to create groups of their favorite toys, take a picture, and then write a word problem about it will engage them more authentically than any worksheet. Their own backyard holds Science lessons waiting to be discovered.
- Keep it simple- We all want to do the cool projects. What a great time to have students try that new app! No, this is NOT the time for new apps and cool tools! This is the time for consistency and routine. Students should be using familiar technology so they can learn new content. If you introduce new technology and the student does poorly, you won’t know if it is because of the comprehension of the content or the ability to use the new tool. Not only could this be bad for comprehension, it may frustrate the parents at home who are helping their students learn. Some parents are not tech savvy and do not understand new technology.
- Multiple Page Documents- Are you uploading a multi-page document for student work? Make it difficult for students to forget about the next page. On each page, insert a text box or symbol that reminds them to go to the next page. A big box with NEXT PAGE—> should do the trick. Also, know there are limits to multi-page uploads. 10 pictures, 1 pdf (can be multipage), 1 Google slides/doc/sheets, or 1 video.
- Activities- Seesaw activities are amazing! Make sure that you, as the teacher, try any activity you assign. Some activities have directions that are not clear, you may wish to make an instructional video for these activities. Also, if students have never used Seesaw activities, it may be difficult to obtain quality work. Teaching students routines when using Seesaw activities and the kind of quality you expect, may be something that is challenging for the first time remotely.
- Collaborate- Encourage students to comment on each other’s work. Ask them to go further than simple compliments. Providing sentence stems like, I see…, I think…, I wonder…, can assist students with quality feedback. If you haven’t ever tried the copy/edit feature, this can also be a valuable way for students to learn from each other and extend on each others’ knowledge. Ask students to create a visual word problem using toys, money, the clock, etc. Then have another student copy/edit a peer’s word problem and solve. What a great way for students to learn from each other and with each other.
- Reach out– There are Seesaw classrooms all over the world! Use the blog feature for students to connect and learn from others, no matter the time zone. Find a classroom to blog with here.
10. Set a goal!- At home learning can be tricky! It is much harder for students to be focused at home (adults too). Ask students to set a daily goal for their learning. Perhaps they aim to have all Math done before lunch time or they attempt to read over all their assignments for the day right after breakfast. Reminding students to set a goal for completion of work each day with help them create a routine.
Seesaw’s resource center is full of short, easy help videos. If you have a question, you can easily find an answer!