Teaching Is Problem Solving

Seesaw for Student Voice

by Dr. Diane Lawson | August 21, 2020

Have you ever thought, how can I hear from my students and understand what they are thinking? I have been using Seesaw in my classroom for many years, because it gives me the opportunity to hear from students. Seesaw has allowed me to hear from my students while they explain their thinking for all content areas but most specifically demonstrating and explaining how they work through a math problem. As I watch student videos, I am amazed at how students find their missteps and then correct them right there while they are explaining. This tool was one of the ways for me to hear from my students while we were distance learning. Students are sometimes shy at first, but they warm up as it becomes a normal routine. For example one of my students did not want to record herself explaining her thinking because other students would hear her. We worked it out so that she could go in the hall the first few times and as she became more  comfortable she was able to record in the classroom. Her confidence grew each time she explained her thinking.

Hearing my students explain their thinking allows me to have a window into their brain. It helps me understand misconceptions and address them right away. In Seesaw I approve all student work before it is posted for others to hear, this gives me the chance to meet with students and troubleshoot or discuss the concept. By clicking the links you can find some examples of students explaining their thinking: student 1, student 2, student 3, student 4

Another example is seen here where students created habitats for a Florida animal, they explained in their captions what they put into the habitat and why. This is a great example of a project-based learning project showcased on Seesaw.

Seesaw also allows students to curate their work into a digital portfolio which connects the school community to the home environment. This portfolio then shows the growth of students from the beginning of the school year to the end. It is a great tool to use when talking with parents about the progress a student has made. Parents then have access to what students are doing in the classroom and it is a great conversation starter.

The possibilities are endless in my mind as to how I could use this to hear my students and get to know them. The relationship formed is essential to how far a student can go in their learning.