By Renee MacDougall and Kelly Brum
This year we started to feel like we, the teachers, were doing all the heavy lifting during our writing conferences with students. So when it was time to begin a new unit on opinion writing, we decided to try to shift more of the responsibility to our students. (making it more Learner Driven) We thought that Seesaw might be an engaging and effective tool to assist students in reflecting on and revising their writing.
Our first step was to develop and introduce our students to opinion writing learning targets aligned with Common Core State Standards. Students then used the Seesaw app to photograph writing pieces. They used Seesaw’s built in audio recording, drawing, and caption tools to identify strengths and weaknesses within their writing as related to these targets. We also used these videos as examples of strong and weak work to help our classes understand expectations and increase proficiency.
As we used Seesaw throughout the unit, our students were certainly engaged. Seesaw’s fun digital learning tools along with teacher conferring motivated them to identify areas in need of revision that might normally have been overlooked. Students were better able to internalize areas of need as they analyzed their work. The examples of strong and weak work also served as a way to make expectations of proficient work clearer to students.
Renee MacDougall and Kelly Brum are second grade teachers at Rockwell Elementary School.