Posted in Technology

Seesaw: Initial steps and moving beyond journaling

Seesaw: Initial Steps

Last year, I implemented Seesaw in all my classes.  I traditionally used it for a writing journal and an occasional voice link.  As I play around more in Seesaw this year, I found myself using it more and more.  I also have students who really like to take pictures with it for their journal entries.  Even if the assignment doesn’t require it, I do enjoy the little snapshots of our class.

Yesterday, I presented to my department.  I created a tutorial on how to sign up.  This is a basic explanation with screenshots that describes how to sign up.  In my email, I also detailed how I used it in class.  Here is how I have used it:

1.  Do all of their writing in it!  They can write presentational pieces or interpersonal writing in the comments.  This can be done as an in-class assignment or as homework.
2.  Take a picture and label it with the target language.
3.  Take a video in the target language.
4.  As the teacher, leave a voice comment for a student and have students speak back!
5.  Have students take a screenshot of their work and reflect on it.  (I have even had students take screenshots of their Seesaw work to comment on it- see the pictures below.)
Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 9.27.03 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-01-18 at 9.27.24 AM.png
6.  They can also snap a picture of their notes from class and talk about them.
7.  After talking about the music video, I had students recreate the story in four scenes.  They put the pictures into PicCollage, so they did not have to upload them individually in Seesaw.  Then, they wrote a caption for their pictures in Spanish.  Here are a few results:
seesaw app smashing.pngseesaw app smashing 2.png
8.  Finally, recently I have seen these awesome #booksnaps on Twitter.  In Book Snaps, you take a snap of your favorite page, add a caption and also maybe some cool stickers or drawings.  This year, I have been struggling with how to keep FVR low key to benefit students and how to hold them somewhat accountable, so they aren’t just staring at the page.  Today, I asked them to just find their favorite part.  These are some of my favorite #booksnaps!  My students did this on Snapchat and uploaded it to Seesaw, but you could have students do this right in Seesaw, too!
Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 2.30.16 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-01-25 at 2.29.59 PM.png
Advertisements
Posted in Journal, Technology

Using Seesaw App in a Foreign Language Class

Using Seesaw App in a FL class

Today, I wanted to explain how I used Seesaw last year, and how I plan to improve it this year.  If you are new to using Seesaw, it is a place for students to store their work.  Students can add a picture, video, link, note, drawing or file.  It also divides your students into classes, so they can see other’s work (if you choose).  Last year, I used it any time that students had to write something.  Most of my students just added a “note.”  Students were able to do so very quickly.  My main goal was to have a place for my blended class to journal.  Having Seesaw was MUCH better than having each student have their own blog.  I had to approve each piece before it posted, so I was able to read briefly through each piece.  It was also really easy to leave comments on their work (as you can see below).

Seesaw App

Students could also leave comments on each other’s work.  I encouraged students to do so from time to time as well.  I had to approve the comments too, which is another great feature.  (Interpersonal writing anyone?!)

I appreciated that Seesaw collected all of their work in one place.  It made it easy for me to check who had done the assignment.  It also helped students reflect on their work.  Below, I have added some quotes from students on their self reflection about how their writing has improved by journaling:

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 2.29.08 PMScreen Shot 2016-07-30 at 2.32.06 PMScreen Shot 2016-07-30 at 2.32.51 PM

In addition to writing, I had students record on Vocaroo then add the link to their journal.  This way, they could include more speaking practices into their portfolio.  I had them complete this with partners, and it was easy to add another person to their journal.  (I also had students write poems in tandem for their journals, and they could tag their partner.)

Finally, Seesaw helped me write comments last year.  I easily could access their work, and I could give them specific thoughts about how they were doing.  We write comments very early in the year, and it gave me concrete advice to tell my students.

I was really pleased with how Seesaw worked this past year.  I want to continue to evolve how I use it.  This year, I am going to add a few more goals for my students.

  • I want to record my voice on their journals instead of just typing.  I also want them to respond using the voice recording.  While they will still start by writing, I want them to speak their comments.
  • I would also like to encourage kids to leave voice comments on other posts.
  • I noticed that Seesaw added video in beta.  I want to play around with this option for students to add to their work.
  • I want to try some speed writing that was suggested during last week’s Langbook.  I will give students a set amount of time to just write about any topic that they choose.  I will continue to do so throughout the year, and I want students to compare their work from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.  This will also provide them with concrete examples of how they are improving.

Have you used Seesaw?  I would love for others to share how they use Seesaw in class!

Posted in Journal, Technology

Seesaw App Notes

Earlier this year, I decided that I was going to use the Seesaw App.  It has only been a week, but I am loving it!  I have discovered a few things that will hopefully help you:

  1. It is really easy to sign up.  I used the students’ Google accounts.
  2. If students are just going to write an entry, they can add a note or write it as a file and upload it.  They can also put the item in a Google Doc and then share the link.
  3. The default settings allow all students to see the other students’ work.  Many of my students were excited to comment and “heart” the other students’ work.  Later in the year, I want my students to comment on each other’s work as an assignment.  This is much easier than when I used WordPress.  I have to approve all comments, so that also keeps it safe.
  4. I gave the code to parents at back to school night, and they seemed excited.  Some have even commented on their students’ work!
  5. While students can add a voice note to their work, I wanted them to just add a conversation.  In order to do that, they can use Vocaroo then add a link in their Seesaw account.
  6. Finally, I really like that Seesaw continues to email me if I need to approve something.  many times, it may slip my mind, but I appreciate the reminder email.

Are you using Seesaw this year?  Do you have any tips that you have learned so far?

Posted in Blended Class, Journal, Technology

Journaling and the Seesaw App

Seesaw App and its use in FL classes

Last year, my students were journaling in my blended class.  While I believe that I was able to learn interesting facts about them and it helped with their writing, they were a pain to find and read on WordPress.  They were unpublished, so I had difficulty accessing them.  However, this year, I want to try something different!

This past week at #langchat (a weekly Twitter discussion on Thursday nights), Amy Lenord discussed the new-ish app Seesaw.  I have read a lot about it, and it seems perfect for the foreign language classroom!  Students can create an e-portfolio using this app.  You can add photos, videos or PDFs of their creations.  They can also add voice (up to 5 minutes), drawing and written annotations.  Since I have created a class, it will all go through me, so I won’t have to try to find all of the old blog links.

Parents can also see what their children are doing!  They can add the app and receive notifications when their child has posted something in the journal.  I am really excited about this piece!  Many parents really want to hear their child speaking in the target language.  Many students really do not enjoy speaking a foreign language in front of their parents.  (Aside: I am totally one of those people.  My parents get really excited when I speak in Spanish and will try to push me to do so at ANY OPPORTUNITY even now!)  This way, it is a non invasive way for parents to hear their students speaking.  Parents can only see their own child’s work.  However you can tag multiple students, so if you take a picture from a field trip, you could tag the students, so all parents can see.  Parents can also give feedback to their children.

While I will use it with journaling, it can also be used for retells of stories.  Students could quickly sketch out a picture from a story then retell the story using the annotation piece.  It would also be neat to use with FVR (Free Voluntary Reading).  Students could snap a picture of the cover of what they are reading and explain the story.  I encourage you to check it out!  (A 90 second video is here!)

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: September 22, 2017

Brillante Viernes September 22

Happy Friday!  For me, I have finally gotten into a little groove where I remember most of my tricks to use in class, so lesson planning goes much faster.  Also, since I am teaching Spanish I again this year, I wanted to visit our Latin I class.  I have really appreciated seeing how they apply CI to Latin, and it has helped me apply different techniques to Spanish.  It was so much fun!  I talked about it on Twitter, but I learned a new brain break!  Rich wrote a three digit number on the board when one student had his back to the board. Then, the student guessed numbers.  We would squat down as a class if the number was lower and raise our hands if it was higher.  I loved it!

Also, I wanted to mention that EdCampMetroDC is starting a fall edition on October 21!  I would love to meet many teachers there, and we could even start a foreign language session!  Without further ado- here are some more awesome ideas from this week:

  • I totally agree about the importance of FVR!  It is so valuable to your FL class.
  • I feel like every time I turn around Path2Proficiency has another AMAZING post.  This post by Meredith is not twisted- it is so accurate.
  • Martina’s post about how to write comprehensible texts is perfect for people just starting CI and those who have been using it for many years!
  • Even more greatness from the Latin CI world: Secret Agent Sketch!  This is perfect because ALL students (grades 1-12) like drawing on whiteboards!
  • From Facebook- as I continue to work on my homework policy, I really like this assignment from Taylor Crump.

More posts from Maris Hawkins Blog in previous years:

  • A reflection from my Netflix unit that I am using again with level 2 this year
  • Some of my first notes from using Seesaw (which I still love!)
  • Our MS Latin teacher still does this bulletin board and I love it!
  • This is a fun quick activity about likes that I plan on using with my Spanish I class this week!
Posted in beginning of the year

Details: Part III, Unit I Spanish I Introductions and Activities

Details Part III, Unit I Spanish I: Introductions and Activities

This is my fourth post about my first unit that I have planned for level 1.  You can find my preliminary post here, the first set of details here, and the third post here.

I am making my way through my first unit.  I just gave my first interpretive assessment on Friday.  It went well!  I want to continue to work on the purpose of the article.  Also, I want to start working with students on identifying where they found information in the article.  I did not do that before, so I am marking that for the next interpretive reading assessment.  I also stuck a free write in the plans to start working on students’ writing.

The last can do focuses on dates and time- while still recycling likes.  We have been discussing the dates throughout this unit.  We also did a quick review of the months with Quizlet Live.  I have a few activities bookmarked to continue to practice dates.  I also found this authentic resource talking about school dates in Argentina  (last few pages).  We will be able to compare when we start school versus the trimester dates of Argentina.  Also, as always Zachary Jones has some great resources about comparing schedules in many different countries including Argentina.  I mentioned this resource about Independence dates that I used years ago.  I like this because it is also timely with Hispanic Heritage Month as a way to explain why it is from September 15-October 15.  Also for times and dates, I like to look at TV schedules like this one.  Students can also discuss what they like or dislike on TV.

Using this awesome MovieTalk database, I found this clip about an annoyed penguin.  I will start the week with this short video.  It is easy to use penguin because it is a cognate.  We can also work on the phrase- No le gusta/n.  Also, this will allow us to work with ¿cómo está?

My outline for the MovieTalk consists of:

Hay un pingüino grande.  Hay tres pingüinos pequeños.  Hace frío.  Está nublado.  Al pingüino grande no le gustan los pingüinos pequeños.  Los pingüinos pequeños saltan mucho.  Saltan muchas veces.  Al pingüino grande no le gusta saltar.  Tampoco le gusta el entusiasmo.  Está mal.  Está frustrado.  Los pingüinos pequeños saltan.  Finalmente, el pingüino grande lanza un pingüino pequeño.  Hay una ballena grande.  Es posible que la ballena coma el pingüino.  ¿Qué hacen los pingüinos pequeños?

I plan on drawing this as I explain it which is a bit more like some of the story listening techniques.  I did the same thing with the first chapter of Frida Kahlo, and it seemed much more engaging for students.

As we continue to work through students’ likes and dislikes, I will do a 1-3-5 free write (a variation of 1-3-10.)  When we do free writes, I like to have students write on a piece of paper then I can have students upload a picture to Seesaw.  Also, to help students improve their writing, I am going to have them read a lot of summaries about their classmates’ likes and dislikes.  Since their final assessment will be a version of a free write, I will focus my efforts here.  Going forward, we can focus more on a variety of aspects of language.  Initially, I just want students to put down what they can.  Their final assessment will involve writing what they like to do based on a schedule (like the TV schedule or class schedule) and also a free write of what their peers like.

As I continue to work with this unit, I will update this and finally, I will reflect on any changes that I want to make at the end of the unit.  Hope this helps you if you are doing a similar unit.  If you have done something similar, also let me know the activities that you planned!

 

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: September 15, 2017

Brillante Viernes: September 15

¡Es viernes!  It has been a long week with our back to school night on Thursday night.  This year (and last), I decided to do a Kahoot with parents.  I found this fun Kahoot on cognates and copied it.  Parents seem to enjoy it- and it gives them a different view of how we use technology now in the classroom.  I also pass out the students’ Seesaw codes as well.  Here are some of my favorite posts from this week:

Flashback Friday from my blog:

  • How it helps me to write down questions before a MovieTalk
  • I tried to project my class objectives, but I found it was easier to remind myself what I was doing by rewriting them
  • Beginning of the year info gap for my level 2
  • How to practice dates using dates of independence for Spanish-speaking countries

 

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: August 25, 2017

Brillante Viernes August 25

Happy Friday!!  Congratulations to everyone who has made it through another school week!  I went back part time to help with my new mentee teacher and tie up some loose ends with our beginning of the year experiential education trips… and I was SO exhausted!  My husband and son were literally running around me as I lay on the couch useless.  Hope you have time this weekend to catch up on your favorite blogs and relax!

And a flashback to previous years here on the blog:

Posted in beginning of the year

Details Part II: Unit I Spanish I Introductions and Activities

Details Part II Unit I Spanish I Intro and Activities

This is the third post about my preliminary plans for my first unit in Spanish I this year.  You can find the first post including my final objectives for the unit here and the first days here.

My other objective for this section is:

  • Focusing on how to discuss likes and dislikes

For the next day, I plan on working with likes and dislikes.  When students enter, they will read the following infographic.  (Me gusta mucho)  I will then use PearDeck’s polls to have students vote on which ones they like and do not like.  The nice thing is that I can set PearDeck to student paced mode, so students can move at their own pace throughout the questions.  Once we have done this, I can lock their answers and we can view and discuss everyone’s favorites.  After this, we can go through the date and weather as well.

As I plan to start with interpretive reading, I will provide students a practice reading activity with Yahoo Respuestas.  I will give students the print out to read and mark up.  Then students will move around and write on large papers cognates, words that they have learned in the first week and items that people identify that they like from their reading.  Throughout this unit, students will be able to keep a list of important and useful words that they find.  While we will have a list of main words for them to know, they will be able to put together a list of words that would be important to them.  When they are done, they can move around and include any new words that they learned on their list.  Then, we will answer some questions in English about the reading together.  Finally, we will play a game of Kahoot about the reading.  Once the Kahoot is done, we will continue to work with talking about students in the class.

My goal is to have their interpretive reading quiz the following day.  Of course, I will have to determine how the previous day goes.  I will also provide students a study guide.  The study guide will be another Yahoo Respuestas question.  It will be different from the one that they will eventually get on the quiz.  I realize that many teachers like to have unannounced quizzes and they do not like to give as much information up front as I do.  While that may give you a better idea of the level of your students, I like to build up the confidence in my students.  I have many nervous students (and parents), and I want them to feel capable and able to study for their task.  Also as ALL of you have searched for authentic resources before, you know that there is a very slim chance that students can find the same authentic resource that you have.

After the quiz, we will switch it up to practice some listening with these video clips from Zachary Jones.  I love that he uses clipart to help novice students decipher what the words mean in Spanish.  This also allows me to have a full lesson plan based on how long it takes the students.  There are many different video recordings for students.

The following day, we will start Señor Wooly’s Puedo ir al baño as our input in the beginning.  After the weather, I will give students a list of questions including introductions and likes/preferences.  Each student will get one question and practice using quiz-quiz-trade.  They each ask their question then trade questions with their partner and find a new partner.  I will circulate to note which questions are difficult to students to highlight in the next few days.

Once they are done, they can add another entry to their Seesaw journals using these guiding questions:

  • ¿Prefieres octubre o mayo?
  • ¿Prefieres el océano o las montañas?
  • ¿Prefieres el té o el agua?
  • ¿Prefieres la música pop o rock n roll?

I want them to add a picture to their entry and find someone else in the class that prefers some of the same things that they do.

The next day, we will start with a Quizizz about what students have learned about the likes of their classmates based on our talking with cards/circling with balls at the end of each class.  Then, we will do the weather and date.  Students will then go on a linguacafe talk using some guided questions to again reiterate and practice introductions and likes/dislikes.  We will play a quick glob game before reading.  I made this reading about an Argentinian tennis player who is number one in the world for wheelchair tennis.  I included questions about it and a video that we can watch as a class.  I also included a reading about the Argentinian women’s field hockey team with questions and a video to watch.

The following day, we will complete an interpersonal interview.  I will interview each student.  As I am interviewing each student, the other students will be working on Señor Wooly nuggets from Puedo ir al baño.  At the end of class, we will complete a free write for students to brainstorm everything that they have learned.  Once I look at their free writes in addition to their speaking practice, I will determine how to finish practicing before their final writing assignment.  I will be finishing up this week with more ways to focus on writing in addition to focusing on when events occur.

Posted in beginning of the year

Details Part I: Unit I Spanish I Introductions and Activities

 

Details Part I Unit I Introductions and Activities

Earlier this week, I started to plan for my first unit.  I started to collect a variety of resources to complete it next.  I also had to decide what order made sense to tackle the can do statements.  The first few days I will work on “I can introduce myself and I can identify cognates.”  I will also start to work on weaving in “I can talk about my likes.”  You can find my first day of school plans here.

For the second day, I will start by defining what a cognate is then we can review some of the cognates that they brainstormed the previous day.  Then, I will have students visit this website (or you can take screenshots.) At each table group, I will challenge them to find as many cognates as they can while they explore the website.  We will compare the number of cognates that they can find.  After this, we will start the calendar and weather introduction.  We will have a quick brain break where we introduce ourselves asking what is your name then tossing a soft ball to another classmate and asking his/her name.  At the end, we will continue the circling with balls/card talks that students started the day before.  This starts to reinforce the likes/dislikes ideas.

For the third day, we will continue with these ideas.  First, students will set up their Seesaw account.  Then, students will be able to answer the following questions:

¿Prefieres el parque o el café?
¿Prefieres las hamburguesas o la pasta?
¿Prefieres la televisión o la computadora?
¿Prefieres la clase del arte o la clase de ciencias?

I will provide students with the word “prefiero” to add to the beginning of the sentence.  I also want students to add a picture to their post to play around with using Seesaw.  I will again reiterate that these words are all cognates.  After this, we will start the calendar and weather.  Then, we will watch this video that reviews introductory phrases.  It is an awkward video, but I think we can stop it a few times and ask questions- like if we think that the two characters will finally dance together.  Then, we will do a quick round of rock, paper, scissors a la Maestra Loca.  Finally, we will continue to work through the circling with balls.  I will write up a few of the previous class stories for students to read as well.  These are preliminary plans, so I hope that you can take these ideas and modify them for your own use!