For the past two years I have been very fortunate to work part-time in a job share partnership, which allowed me to spend more time at home with my young children. During this time I shared all of the classroom duties with another teacher. This experience was very rewarding, but with sharing a classroom it also was challenging to work together to effectively communicate with parents in a way that worked best for the both of us.
I am finally back on my own and I am excited to launch this school year as the solo teacher, giving me the opportunity to explore new tools to connect what we are doing at school with families at home. I started thinking about this home school connection more when my children started at a new daycare this year and we were asked to sign up for the program remind. This program allows the teachers at my children’s daycare to send us pictures and updates to show what our children are up to that day at daycare. I love receiving these updates as it keeps us informed about what they are up to during the day and also gives us a conversation starter to talk about what they are learning about. I have first hand as a parent got to see the benefits of being a part of my child’s learning even if it is only at daycare.
This made me start thinking about the new school year and what I want to do in my classroom to allow my students’ parents to be a part of their child’s school day. When sitting in a writing PD one day I was briefly introduced to the program Seesaw. In the brief introduction the administrator shared how students could take a snapshot of their work and send it directly to their parents to view. I immediately was intrigued and knew that I wanted to learn more!
I am going into this major project very new to how Seesaw works and what it can offer to my classroom. I immediately used my unlimited lifeline ‘call a friend’ and called one of my ‘techy’ teacher friends to pick her brain into how this could be used in my classroom. It sounded to good to be true! It sounded like everything I was looking for in one single program. Still, really having no idea how it worked other than some of the features that I could use I decided to start browsing youtube to see if I could find any online PD to help answer some of my questions. I found the perfect video called “PD in your PJs- brand new to seesaw (part 1).
This video was a great place to start for teachers who are looking to launch Seesaw in their classrooms. I learned a lot about what Seesaw is and the benefits of using it in the classroom. The first PD video focused on what tools can be found on Seesaw and how students can use the tools to document and share their learning. It was a hands on video that allowed teachers to log into a classroom on Seesaw as a students and add pictures, videos, notes, drawings and voice recordings. I learned a lot from the leader Angela Gadtke of this online PD. I look forward to watching part 2 of her PD this week to learn how to set up my classroom on Seesaw.
I also am very excited about other PD opportunities that I have found within my school division Regina Public Schools for using Seesaw in the classroom. I plan to attend a PD opportunity next week at the board office as well as I have joined the Seesaw Community of Practice for this school year. This is a professional development community that gathers a few times this school year to share and discuss how we are using Seesaw in our classrooms. I am excited to collaborate with other teachers in our division to find out what they are doing in their classrooms with Seesaw as well as share what we will be doing in my classroom.
I am very excited about my major project this term as building this home school connection within my classroom has always been something I have wanted to do. I feel that this program is going to be a great way to document, share and connect my students learning with their families. I would love to hear from anyone who is already using this program in their classrooms!