Today’s Contributor: Tommie Graham
I am a veteran first grade teacher at Pease Elementary who has embraced Seesaw as a digital student portfolio and parent communication tool.
I am always searching for ways to make learning in my classroom more child-centered. I want my students to be independent thinkers, innovators, and problem solvers. I also want to share their wonderful work with families. I discovered that Seesaw is the perfect tool to help me accomplish these goals. Seesaw is a digital student portfolio where work can be shared in a safe online environment. Journal entries can include photos, drawings, videos, activities, and projects. My students love “showing what they know” on Seesaw and it has become an integral part of our learning experience.
One of the great features of Seesaw is the ability to app smash. App smashing is the process of using multiple apps to create a project or complete a task. Seesaw allows numerous apps to be easily imported. We have used Seesaw since the first week of school when my kids photographed their finds in the classroom scavenger hunt. After several months exploring the various tools in Seesaw, I decided to introduce a few new apps.
By far, the most popular app we have used is Chatterpix. Chatterpix is an easy to use photo app that allows students share their learning by making anything talk. Students choose a photo, draw a line to create a mouth, and then record themselves reading. Afterward, they export their product to their Seesaw journal to share. After a few mini-lessons on how add labels, record, and export, the kids took off creating.
Another wonderful app to use with primary students is Shadow Puppet edu. Shadow Puppet allows us to make presentations and slideshows out of videos, photos, and voiceovers. I have created several slideshows of special events (holiday parties, 100th day of school, etc.) using photos taken from the ipad camera roll. I have shared the slideshows with families via Seesaw. Shadow Puppet also allows the user to search for images from several online photo libraries such as the Library of Congress and the Met Museum of Art. Text and background music may be added in addition to voice over recording. My students are in the process of creating slideshows of our recent trip to the Texas Memorial Museum.
Both of these apps are safe, easy to use, and require no logins or accounts to access.
Seesaw has revolutionized the way my students share their learning. They are learning to think critically and creatively, speak clearly and concisely, and edit and refine their final products. My students are taking charge of their learning are always eager to share what they know. App smashing is a fun, engaging way for the children to “show what they know”.