While middle schools across the district prepare to use Google Classroom next year, elementary classrooms will be using Seesaw, a student-driven digital portfolio, as the platform of choice.
HCISD has used Seesaw in Digital Leadership classrooms for the past three years. Students can upload and document their work through pictures, video, typing, or drawing.
“The students are provided with voice and choice activities,” Stuart Place Elementary Kindergarten teacher, Lucero Munoz said. “My favorite feature is the annotation tool. My students are able to record themselves while they are working on the activities.”
This platform works perfectly for the elementary grades and addresses different types of learning in various classrooms, and across multiple grade levels. Seesaw allows students to create, reflect, collaborate, and share.
“Being in a bilingual classroom, and using Seesaw has allowed my students to integrate their writing, speaking, listening, and reading skills,” Long Elementary third-grade Bilingual teacher, Gladys Sanchez said. “For example, students can record themselves to explain a math problem. Students have also recorded themselves to document their reading fluency practice.”
Teachers, students, and parents who have used Seesaw before seem to enjoy how easy the program is to use and the tools available within. Some of the features that teachers enjoy the most about this online platform are the access parents have to student work and how this app allows teachers to document student progress and growth.
“Students keep a journal of their work all year long,” Sanchez said. ” The students take ownership of their work, and they can see their accomplishments throughout the school year. Once the child uploads an item, and the teacher approves the item, the parents can automatically see what their children are working on in the classroom. This is a great way to keep the parents informed about their child’s learning.”
Seesaw has been used side by side with lessons in the elementary classrooms, but it was also an excellent resource for teaching during the months we could not be in school, and students had to learn from home due to COVID-19.
“Through this pandemic, my students were able to transition into online learning using Seesaw seamlessly,” Milam Elementary fourth-grade teacher, Noelia Garza said. “Because they were familiar with the platform, they were comfortable learning the same way they learned in the classroom and we had a smooth transition into an at-home environment. I love Seesaw, and have not found another platform that does as much as this one.”
Using this platform has allowed students to explore a variety of powerful and intuitive tools to show what they know in a way that works best for them.
“We are excited to bring Seesaw for Schools to all of our elementary classrooms in our upcoming school year to meet all our students’ needs,” Teaching and Learning Specialist, Monica Alvarado said
HCISD now has more than 265 teachers who have become Seesaw Ambassadors and about 187 teachers who have become Seesaw Pioneers. Teachers will continue to prepare for the upcoming school year with additional training this summer and throughout the school year.