Seesaw is a digital portfolio tool which allows pupils to store work in an online space and gain feedback from their teacher. The use of Seesaw has increased dramatically over the past two years, and it was one of the most popular platforms in primary schools during the periods of emergency remote teaching in 2020 and 2021. In this blog post, I will take a closer look at how some of the approaches used with Seesaw during emergency remote teaching can be brought to face-to-face teaching to create a more interactive learning experience.
Seesaw is an especially useful tool in the junior end of primary school. The use of activities such as ‘drag and drop’, highlighting, colouring, etc. are very effective with younger children. The type of Seesaw activities that work best in my class are short, snappy activities which focus on curricular content.
The children in my 1st class will usually complete 3/4 Seesaw activities that revolve around the story or piece of text being covered in our ‘core reader’. These activities extend student’s learning and work as an added methodology to improving overall literacy levels. Examples of activities would be inserting focus words from the text into cloze sentences, defining key words, identifying different features of the genre in question, spelling focus words from the text, etc.
Seesaw also lends itself to the creation of useful and meaningful numeracy activities. The ‘shapes’ feature on the ‘Drawing’ canvas allows the teacher to create manipulatives which can fulfil the role of concrete materials such as cubes, counters, etc. This can really help to develop ‘number sense’ among younger pupils. There is also huge scope to use the Seesaw canvas to develop mathematical competence in topics such as place value, money, data, time and many more.
Seesaw is also a brilliant tool for fostering an interest in Gaeilge. The audio feature on the ‘Drawing’ canvas allows me to record my voice and for children to identify the word/sentence I am reading. It also allows children to record themselves reading words or small pieces of text ‘as Gaeilge’. Playing back their audio file is also an effective way of getting children to critique their own work and self-assess.
Seesaw is a tool which I use on a weekly basis in my class. It is a great way of integrating digital technologies into teaching, learning and assessment in your classroom. Each week, I can design activities that are specific to the needs of my class and the content we are covering. There is a huge bank of knowledge and resources built up relating to this platform over the past two years – it’s now time to look at ways of using this to enhance the learning experiences of the children in your class!