Game Changing Ways 4 Teachers are Preparing for Back to School This Year
New ideas for the new school year!
This time each year, we see so many innovative ways that Seesaw teachers are preparing for the year ahead. From fresh ways to build relationships with student to tips for partnering with families to cool ways to use technology to make learning engaging, accessible, and fun.
We had to share!
Read on for game changing ideas from Seesaw teachers you can use in your classroom this year.
Build Relationships with Students and Families Before School Even Starts
Many teachers send home a welcome letter on the first day of school. It might include fun facts about themselves, what’s in store for the year, and how to get in touch.
This can be a great way to welcome students and families into your class as they navigate all the excitement of the new school year. But why wait until school starts? It’s never too early to start building relationships!
This year, kindergarten teacher Kaitlin plans to use Seesaw to connect with her incoming students and families before the school year even begins. She explains, “I’m able to send this letter out to my students and their families [on Seesaw] before even the first day of school.”
She loves that she can connect before that first day. She says that it allows students and families get to know her, which can help to ease students’ worries as they make the big transition into kindergarten. “It builds that classroom community from the start, which I love.” We love it, too!
Check out Kaitlin’s back to school tip on TikTok.
Assign Free Get to Know You Activities Beyond the First Day
Each year, you’re met with a class full of bright new faces. As you get to know each student, it’s helpful to remember that students are just getting to know each other, too.
Even if students know some of their classmates from previous years, students grow and change a ton over the summer. Each school year is an opportunity to start fresh. That’s why 3rd grade teacher Lindsey plans to prepare Seesaw Activities that help her students get to know each other in the first weeks of school.
She has this to say about Seesaw: “It’s great for learning more about your students and getting to know each other. I love all these All About Me activities.” Whether you search for activities created by our community or explore Lessons created by the team at Seesaw, you’re guaranteed to find engaging activities that gets kids sharing, listening, and building relationships.
The best part? They’re all ready to go. As Lindsey says, “You can choose the one you want, assign it to your class, and then you’re good to go.”
With so many getting to know you activities in Seesaw, you can prepare a handful of your favorites for the first weeks of school. You’ll get valuable insights into each of your student’s personalities. Your students will get to know each other beyond first impressions. And classroom community will soar.
Check out Lindsey’s back to school tip on TikTok.
Replace Worksheets with Multimodal Learning
Seesaw’s Learning Tools transform instruction from one-dimensional worksheets into multidimensional learning experiences.
KM, a reading specialist, shares how she uses Seesaw: “I like to put their decodable passages in there and give them the chance to listen to it first... Then they get the chance to record themselves, and I can go back and listen to it at a later time.”
Rather than hand students a printed passage, she provides a multimodal way to practice key reading skills. Students can listen to the example as many times as they need. Plus, they can listen back to themselves and self-assess.
Not only does this make the assignment more accessible, it also adds opportunities for reflection and documenting growth over time – key for developing a growth mindset.
As KM explains, “This works great for kids who don’t always like to read out loud in front of others. It gives them a chance to be less nervous and do their best job.” Helping students do their best is what we’re all about.
Check out KM’s back to school tip on TikTok.
Leverage Technology to Support Family Communication
It can be challenging to find time to connect with every family, especially in the beginning of the year. Drop off and dismissal are often rushed and crowded. Some students take the bus. And conferences only happen a few times a year.
Yet, we know that family involvement is one of the best predictors of student success. That’s where technology comes in!
Mrs. D is a first year special education teacher who can’t wait to use Seesaw to connect with families. She says, “Using Seesaw fosters that home-school relationship and includes parents in the learning process.”
When they’re connected to their child’s Seesaw Journal, families don’t have to wait for conferences to learn what’s happening in class. They get a window into their child’s learning every day.
Every time students post their learning to Seesaw, you’re involving families. Each post is a positive touchpoint from school to home, building a foundation for communication and collaboration.
And with built-in translation, all families are able to be active partners in their child’s learning journey. “I have ENL [English as a New Language] students in my class this year,” Mrs. D explains. “So those translation tools will be very important.”
Messaging on Seesaw further opens lines of communication. With Messages, you can send announcements with multimodal resources to support learning at home. Or you can start one-on-one or group conversations that involve students, family members, and even other teachers. So everyone who cares about a student can work together in one place.
Check out Ms. D’s back to school tip on TikTok.
We are so inspired to hear how these and other Seesaw teachers are using technology to transform learning this year. We can’t wait to see what you and your students accomplish in the school year ahead!
Join the Discussion!
What is a new idea you’re trying this back to school?