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How to Use the Seesaw App in the Classroom

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Photo of Holly (Teach Starter)
Updated | 5 min read

Teachers are nothing if not agile, and the pandemic had many of us quickly adapting so we could use new digital tools in the classroom from Seesaw to Google Classroom. Whether you’ve used the Seesaw app before and just want a few pointers or you’re brand new to this cool program for student portfolios, we did a deep dive into everything there is to know about Seesaw to help you out!

What Is the Seesaw App Used For?

The Seesaw app lets kids and teachers record what they’re doing in the classroom for easy sharing with each other and with parents too. The digital learning program allows you as a teacher to share assignments in the form of videos, photos, text, images, files, or drawings — pretty extensive.

The app works on just about any device from Chromebooks to tablets, and we’ve asked teachers for their best tips on why they use Seesaw in the classroom!

Seesaw App Classroom Activity Ideas

This is really where the Seesaw app shines — with classroom activities.

Use the text feature to send math word problems to your students, and use the emoji tool!

Rather than using worksheets for activities like science labeling, you can create real-life examples, and students can label their very own photos! It’s far more engaging and connects real-life situations to their learning experiences. Brilliant!

Here is another awesome use of the Seesaw app in action. Students have created their own words using playdough. They have then taken a photo and recorded themselves saying each of the words they have created. You could even extend this activity and get them to record themselves using the words in sentences.

Using Teach Starter Resources in the Seesaw App

Here are just a few ways you can easily convert Teach Starter resources into digital fun (these examples were provided to us by miss_smartiepants) The best thing about this is that you can ask the students to record what they are thinking during each activity:

Transform worksheets into an engaging digital resource. When you are in the SeeSaw app, you can simply upload a PDF file of a worksheet or activity from your iCloud Drive. Simple. Students then use the drawing tool. Alternatively, you could take a screenshot of our resources and add it as a photo into the Seesaw app.

For example, as students sort by nouns, verbs, and adjectives, get them to record themselves putting each of the words into sentences. This can then be shared with their parents to celebrate successes.


Flipped Learning Activities

You can also create activities and record the instructions linked to that activity for students to use in self-directed learning! With so many different tools you can differentiate the activities to cater to the varying levels in your class. Your students are able to stop, start and replay the instructions as they need!

Save on Printing Using the Seesaw App

Let’s face it, photocopying copious amounts of worksheets is not great for the environment, plus, don’t even mention the lineup in the mornings and all the jamming the photocopier likes to do. The Seesaw app has the perfect solution: The drawing tool!

“You can use worksheets and the drawing tool instead of printing them! I’ve even used some of Teach Starter’s worksheets on fractions and the kids simply drew the fraction straight onto Seesaw and shared it. Saves so much paper waste and the parents loved seeing it immediately!” twoteachersoneblog

Home-School Communication With Seesaw

The beauty of a digital app like Seesaw is the ease of communicating and sharing students learning experiences with their parents and guardians. Each student gets their very own profile and can add learning experiences and even record what they have learned during an activity. This can then be shared with their parents.

Parents who have downloaded the Seesaw app will be notified of their own child’s work. Parents can comment on the photos as well!

Thanks to teaching_travels for providing this example of one of her students celebrating a success with their parents!

Reading and Fluency Tool

This is one of my most favorite tools in the Seesaw app, especially for those children who don’t really like to read aloud in front of a group.

“I use Seesaw to record reading over the top of a photo of a text a student is reading. They can then play back and give themselves feedback, as well as getting it from peers, teachers, and parents! As we progress through the year, they can look back on their read aloud and set their own goals!” – Emmaline Moore

  • Students can simply find a quiet space to sit and record their voices as they read aloud to themselves.
  • Give them a book that is at the right level or even easier for them to practice their fluency and expression.
  • Get them to work with a buddy to give each other peer evaluations.

Peer Feedback

“I use this app every day! So versatile and the kids are able to showcase their work. It allows them to be collaborative and creative! By posting their work it saves you receiving 28 emails or airdrops plus allows you to teach effective peer feedback. I cannot recommend this app enough.” – Stacey

Hot Tips from Teachers

We gathered some of our very favorite tips from teachers to make using Seesaw a success in the classroom!

  1. Use QR codes to make logins easy.
  2. Use Seesaw in parent/teacher conferences to show progress and work samples.
  3. Teach students how to upload to their journals themselves to save you time.
  4. Encourage parents to sign up early so they can track their child’s progress throughout the year. Set clear expectations so they know what it’s for and how it will be used.
  5. Encourage your students to post audio commentary along with photos of their work so they can practice speaking skills.
  6. Create a book snap of your favorite page and record yourself reading the text.
  7. Use pic-collage to put photos and text together before uploading.

If you still have more questions, visit the SeeSaw Help Center.

Do you use the Seesaw app in your classroom?


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