Have you heard of the Seesaw app? I just love what Seesaw does for my classroom and IT IS FREE! I'm in no way paid to promote it but the features and abilities for a classroom are endless.
Being a relatively new teacher (4th year!) I need things that are EASY and work in my classroom, for that purpose alone Seesaw was perfect! Essentially it is a digital portfolio of student work that is shared with parents.
The variety of inputs alone makes is worthwhile. You can snap a photo, draw, write a note, video or even link. Then you can annotate off of those options to talk, draw, or type over what you input.
There are 2 main reasons why I love Seesaw so much!!
1. The growth that it shows.
Sometimes as we see kids day to day we miss the growth over the year. this year we used Seesaw for our beginning fluency checks and plan to look back and reflect at the end of the year with how far we have come.
While doing experiments, I walk around and ask questions that students answer with explanations about what we have been doing.
As a teacher this not only shows me but parents as well how their child does in a classroom setting even when they can't be there. I pull up their "journal" at conferences and can easily scroll through work, examples, and reflections from students with parents and comment as well. It makes conferences a breeze - which as a new teacher there could not be better music to my ears.
2. Parent Communication!
It could not be simpler to document student success and daily activity all while keeping parents involved! Parents can link to just their student's journal - completely safe - and keep updated on daily activities and moments they might otherwise miss from our classroom.
The parent comments on this alone make it worthwhile - AGAIN (I know!) They love getting messages that something was added to their journal and being able to start a dialogue with their student at home, "I saw you did such and such today....tell me more about it."
Another great *bonus* - I simply add a note and attach it to everyone's journal for a newsletter. Easy Peasy! Students sometimes even cover this for me. Parents still stay updated all in one place.
What are you waiting for?! a FREE app??? - Run to the app store now!
Below is a link to a presentation I gave recently highlighting the benefits!