(Disclaimer: I am a SeeSaw Ambassador, but I am not employed by the company. I just love it!)
Educators are having a difficult time planning for distance learning. If they start at school, they have to worry about distancing and the possibility of having to suddenly teach from home again. And, obviously, music is performance-based. How do you assess singing and possibly playing? It can’t take the place of consistent musicking together, but SeeSaw online portfolio can make it a little easier. The platform makes it easy to go from school teaching to home teaching. Students can still sit apart and work collaboratively with peer assessments. Teachers can keep up with students with computer or phone. And parents can be involved while their child is at school by being able to check their portfolio.
When I was teaching, I absolutely loved to use SeeSaw. I’d set up “recording studios” with ceiling canopies or gym mats so pairs of students could help each other with recorder. Groups who were improvising or composing could make notes without losing them, show job assignments, reflect, and record their accomplishments. I set them up for substitutes as well. I even made videos at conferences that would show up in the class journal letting them know that I knew who was working and who wasn’t! Parents who connected would leave little notes for their kids, encouraging them. It was nice.
One of the greatest thing about SeeSaw is this:
In the community section, teachers share activities they created (after a SeeSaw panel approves it). All you have to do is click “Share”. This makes planning a little easier, because you can edit to suit your needs.
SeeSaw has 3 plans. Start out with the free plan. As you become comfortable with the platform, you might want to expand or convince your district to sign up for the school plan:
Another wonderful feature of SeeSaw is the option to have a family connect with their child’s account. They will ONLY see their child’s account, and can leave comments. You can also send messages through this platform.
Some examples of how I utilized SeeSaw in my classroom:
Students created holiday compositions with icons, coverted them to pitches on the staff, and recorded themselves playing their pieces on recorder.
Students worked in groups to create and record ostinati patterns.
If you need a video tutorial about how to get started, plus the basics, watch my tutorial.
Since I made this tutorial, I have found out that teachers can upload videos! Things are always changing. Here is a video from SeeSaw on updated features.
Here are a variety of other sources for ideas:
- App smashing to add emojis
- Facebook group: SeeSaw for Music Educators
- SeeSaw Twitter page. Links to some great ideas from teachers.
- SeeSaw Facebook page.
I mentioned in the YouTube tutorial I was going to offer the completed activity I used as an example in creating one. Here is the link. Just find the three little dots and click “Share”.
I know many of you have used SeeSaw and have great ideas. Please leave a comment to share your ideas. I know they will be greatly appreciated by other teachers!
Next blog: “App smashing” Boomcards and Google Classroom with SeeSaw.
Until next blog: Take care, be safe, and know you ARE special in the lives of children.