Monday, March 21, 2016

Seesaw Ideas for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Many of you are holding parent-teacher conferences this spring, and I've heard a lot of you planning for student-led conferences, which I think is awesome!  Seesaw would be a great way to showcase student learning, but also have parents and students work collaboratively on a project during conferences.  I think parents would be really impressed to see their students creating and publishing from the Seesaw app, and the students would enjoy a "joint" project with their parents.  This could be something as simple as opening up the camera tool to take a parent/student selfie, then addd their conference reflections using the typing and microphone tools.  Or you could have a project planned out for them to work on together, providing a template for what they'll write and include a photograph of.  Here is a template for the app Shadow Puppet Edu from, but it could be used to plan out a project for any app (to upload to Seesaw) or to work directly in the Seesaw app using the photo or drawing tools.  (click the image to download a copy)
They will enjoy this collaborative project, and parents will see more of this process and how amazing it is that their children can navigate the app and publish their work to an authentic audience!
I also love the new QR code feature of Seesaw, and I think this could have an awesome place at parent-teacher conferences.  Have students create a special message for conferences, or work on a project that you don't approve until right before conferences (so it's a "surprise!")  You can generate QR codes for these posts and create an interactive bulletin board display that parents (and students) can scan using the Seesaw app.  This would be a great way to encourage those parents who haven't yet downloaded the app and connected with your class to do so!  Watch the short 3 minute video below for a little "how to" on using this feature.

Seesaw also has some great tutorials in their Help Center. You may want to download some of the Back to School Night Resources to help introduce Seesaw to parents.  There is also information about inviting parents (if you haven't yet done this).  This would be a great time to hand out the parent invites and show them what their kiddos have been creating in your classroom!
If you have other ideas that you are using at conferences, please share in the comments below!

Here is a great idea from Mrs. Scheafer at Eagle Cliffs, for using the Sock Puppets app at parent-teacher conferences.
Have students write out a dialogue between a teacher and student, using the sock puppet characters to act out the dialogue.  Here is an example:
Teacher- "Tell me something that you have learned this quarter."
Student- "Well, we have been working on biographies."
Teacher- "Who were you learning about?"
Student - "Helen Keller, she was a girl who overcame...."

Be sure to have your students plan out the dialogue before they begin recording, so it is well thought out.  You could put together a storyboard template that they complete, or use this versatile template, which I found on the blog 21 Things 4 iPads.  Mrs. Scheafer also suggests that students could write quarter 4 goals for themselves and share out using the Sock Puppets app.  This same template could be used to have them write their goals before sharing in the app.

After the Sock Puppets videos are created, they can be saved to the iPad camera roll and easily shared using Seesaw!  Thanks for the awesome ideas, Mrs. Scheafer!

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