Inside: Find out how to use basic Seesaw tools and features so that your students can learn a lot from digital assignments.
Have you decided that Seesaw is the right app for sending digital work to your students?
Now you need to know: What can kids actually DO with Seesaw?
At the most basic level, kids can complete a worksheet on a screen rather than on paper.
However, Seesaw gives you tools to go far beyond what you can provide through paper and pencil.
By knowing 7 basic features in the app, you can:
- increase engagement in activities
- give students multiple ways to show what they know
- make mistake correction a breeze
Let’s jump in!
Writing with the Text Tool
Students can use the text tool to add a textbox anywhere on an assignment. Use this Seesaw tool to have students type answers on a worksheet, explain their thinking, or to share stories and other ideas.
Watch the video below to see how to:
- insert a text box
- resize the box
- move the box around
Remember my favorite fix-up strategies:
To save the day, click away. Sometimes you lose the handles to resize text boxes. When that happens, move your cursor to a blank spot on the screen and click (this is the “click away”). Now the options to resize or move the box are active again.
Undo is your friend. In the video you’ll see that I accidentally rotate a box. The fastest way to fix things like that is to hit the undo button.
Recording Sound with the Microphone Tool
It’s time to get excited because this is where Seesaw starts moving beyond what can be accomplished with pencil and paper.
You can probably think of students who are brilliant but struggle with handwriting or spelling. They run up against frustration every time they have to write to show what they know.
Also, students get bored when all of their work involves writing.
The microphone tool solves both of these problems. It’s perfect for breaking down the barrier of writing to respond and adds some variety to classwork.
Use the microphone tool to have the students:
- record themselves reading
- orally explain something about their work
- tell a story or share an idea
In the video below, watch how I start, end, and playback audio using the microphone.
PRO TIP: While the microphone is recording audio, it is also recording anything happening on the screen. This means a student could be writing or moving things around as they are giving an oral explanation.
Adding Photos with the Photo Tool
Students can take and add photos to their assignments using the camera tool.
Use the camera to have students:
- photograph and turn in something they did on paper
- add photos to illustrate text
- take photos that match a concept (living things, things that start with ch, things that are yellow)
In the video below, watch how I take photos and then move and resize them:
Using The Video Tool
Talk about lots of ways for students to show what they know! The video tool lets students record up to a 5-minute video clip and insert it into their assignment.
Have students use the video tool to:
- act something out (a vocab word, part of a story, role play a social situation)
- demonstrate a skill
- show something they made (a sculpture, a science experiment, a STEM activity)
In the video below, notice how I record a video, and how I can resize and move the video in an assignment.
Get a Closer Look with the Zoom Feature
One way to make assignments in Seesaw is to upload worksheets that you already have. The trouble is sometimes these are small on the screen.
The solution is to use the zoom feature to enlarge the activity.
The trickiest part about using the zoom tool is that you can only drag the page around from the little gray zoom box. Watch how it’s done in the video below:
Make Your Mark with Drawing Tools
One reason Seesaw is so accessible for younger students is that they can write or draw on assignments like they would when using pencil and paper.
Use the drawing tools when you need students to:
- circle answers
- make an illustration
- highlight (use the marker tool for this)
- draw lines for matching activities
- write answers instead of typing them
Watch the video for a quick rundown of what you can do with the writing tools:
activities in the video: Bossy-R Activities for Seesaw
Drop and Drag with the Move Tool
The move tool lets students drag pictures, shapes, and text boxes around the screen.
Use the move tool when you want to
- do a sorting activity
- simulate a cutting and pasting activity
- solve problems with picture manipulatives
- explore concepts like fractions and geometry with moveable shapes
Sometimes kids run into trouble with pulling a shape out of size or accidentally opening a menu. Watch the video for 3 tricks for using the move tool successfully.
activity in the video: VCe Activities for Seesaw
With just those basic Seesaw tools, you can create a wide variety of engaging activities for your students.
Share these videos with students and parents so they can get up to speed on using Seesaw! You can find the whole playlist on Youtube HERE
The best way to understand these features is to try them out for yourself! If you haven’t already, sign up for a free Seesaw account and give it a try!
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