Scaffolds & Supports within the Seesaw Canvas

Happy December! With conferences nearly completed, you’re likely thinking about how to provide instruction for your students that meet their individual needs. This blog post will focus on how you can use Seesaw to strategically create activities that offer students both scaffolds and challenge. Ensuring that we create equitable opportunities for students to grow is at the heart of our district equity policy.

Seesaw is a powerful tool that can help us, as teachers:  

  • Draw on student data 
  • Provide different levels of support 
  • Target activities to small groups 
  • Provide very specific feedback to help students progress 
  • Offer students choice 

If you’d like to follow along in a Seesaw activity that demonstrates features for scaffolding (or save it to explore at a later time), click this link!

Chunking Instruction

One way to ensure that you’re providing targeted supports for students is to ensure that they can access asynchronous instruction in manageable chunks. In a Seesaw activity, you can embed a 5-minute video on each slide, which means that you can record directions, instruction, and content in small steps. Good practice is to do small chunks of video on your Seesaw template so that you are showing parts of a skill or strategy in manageable chunks. This is a great supplement to your live instruction, and students can access it right within Seesaw.

Click here to see an example from Ed Tech TOSA, Christin.

Using Scaffolds and Templates

Including scaffolds and templates, whenever possible, is another way to support students in understanding content and demonstrating their learning. Word walls, sentence starters, graphic organizers, and audio/visual supports are excellent choices and can be created right in the Seesaw canvas!

The word sort below was created using the label tool. The directions were locked in place, with the short and long “e” words left open as manipulatives for students to move into the correct place.

You can add voice captions right within the page, and you can also hyperlink to a video that you would like students to watch if that further supports their independent activity. Templates are another simple way to provide more specific support for students. Think graphic organizers for literacy or social studies, and models for math and science!  

Tagging to Folders and Specific Students

A key piece of all this is that you’re designing activities for small groups of students in order to support their individual strengths and needs.

When you go to assign an activity, there is a link to the right that allows you to select who will get the particular version of an activity. You might consider creating multiple versions of the same activity with varying levels of challenge to assign to small groups of students. This same link will allow you to “tag” the activity to a folder. I recommend that you set up some folders for easy organization.  

These folders can be set up by content area and can also include folders for co-teaching. An LRC or ELL teacher, for example, can have their own folder for the students that they work with. Teachers will always want to communicate with each other to decide how these Seesaw classes and folders will be set up.  

Providing Targeted Feedback

There are lots of different ways to provide individualized feedback for students! Of course, most of us know that you can “like” and “comment” on a student’s post. You can also “edit” the post to give more extensive feedback. This opens the canvas and you can leave student written feedback using the pen tool, using a text box, or with an encouraging sticker.  

We also want to ensure that you know that you can also use the video tool to leave feedback. This can be a powerful way to leave something detailed and personal for your student, while also building that connection with them. Keep in mind that these components inform one another. Through instruction, activities, and intentional feedback we learn more about our students, and this helps us reflect on our teaching. 

Want more ideas on how to provide feedback to students on math assessments using Seesaw? Click here to read a blog post on Staff Hub (note that you will be prompted to log into Staff Hub).

To view the Seesaw activity that demonstrates features for scaffolding (or save it to explore at a later time), click this link!

Happy Seesaw-ing!

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