SeeSaw – Student Generated Help Videos

As an educator, there is nothing I love more than awesome professional development.  My school recently held “Mini-Conferences”, given by our teachers, for our teachers.  We were able to go to two mini-conferences.  I attended Standards Based Grading and SeeSaw.  Both conferences were great, and actually reminded me of Twitter Math Camp, professional development by teachers, for teachers.

img_9365I had not heard of SeeSaw before, but it sounded amazing.  SeeSaw is a digital portfolio that students can access from their phones, iPads, or a computer.  Students can take pictures or videos on their phone (iPad or computer) and then instantly upload it to the app.  They can also add links, files, notes, or annotate anything on the app.  Once something is uploaded, the whole class can see it in a “Facebook” like live feed.  Students can like and comment on uploads.  Students don’t even need to sign in, which is great for younger students.  Once they download the app, they can just scan the provided QR code and they are instantly in.

img_9364I was doing a Station review of Functions the day after the professional development and decided that I had t incorporate SeeSaw.  After a great suggestion by Julia Finnyfrock, I decided to have each student video themselves explaining just one problem on the review we were working on.  I told students that I wanted them to look over all of the problems in the review (or the previous review homework) and pick one they wanted to work on.  While working, they could ask me for help.
After completing their problem, they checked their answer with me.  Then, they created and uploaded video explaining how to do their problem.  I created a folder for each station, so that it would be easier for students to find problem they needed to see.

I loved using SeeSaw because if a student needs help during station work, they can watch a video until I have time to come over and help them.  Also, they can watch the videos when they are working or reviewing at home.  A great benefit is also for absent students.  I uploaded the worksheet with solutions from the review and even a one-sheet that we created in class.  All of the work for the review, including work we did in class, was all in one place.  They can watch their peers explaining problems they missed in class.

I encouraged, but did not require all students to make a video.  I wanted my students to do what they needed to do for their review.  Some students did not want to create a video, and some students created more than one!

Here is a glimpse of what students see in the SeeSaw feed.  When they click on the folder, they can see all of the videos that relate to that folder.

Trigonometry Stations

I’m so excited to start trig again in Algebra 2!  We have a week long trig blitz where we review the trig ratios, inverses, special right triangles, and law of sines and cosines.  Some students needed more one on one review than others. Stations.jpg.png
So I decided to do a station activity to review the week.  I love station activities, as everyone can work at their own pace, check their answers as they work, and get one on one help from me when they need it.  Plus, they get to work individually and with other students and move around.  I created booklets for them to do the work for each station.  My students make one sheets at the end of each unit, so I put a blank one sheet template on the front of the booklet.  This way, they could take extra notes as they worked the problems.  It was pretty much a perfect teaching day!

Since they have studied all of these topics previously in Geometry, I wanted to push them a bit.  We did the ambiguous case (ASS) last year with the Law of Sines.  However this year, after the pre-calc teacher told me about using the law of cosines with an ASS triangle, I pushed my students to try it!  Some of them preferred the law of sines, but many saw the benefit to using the law of cosines.

This year I introduced the law of cosines as an alternate (and optional) challenge.  But next year, I am going to have them all use the law of sines to find a missing side of a 2 triangle ASS in order to frustrate them enough to BEG for a better way.  I will do this as a group activity on the large white boards so they can fuss with each other about how crazy the problem in, then I will sneak around to the groups and quietly suggest a better way.  Oh, teaching math can be so much fun!

Here are the stations I used.  I created QR codes that sent the students to the answer sheets.  Then I taped the codes to each station so students could check their answers as they went along.  And here is the booklet.  I wish I could do this everyday.

 

 

Quick and Easy Math Stations (aka – Pimp Your Worksheet)

I LOVE Math Stations and wrote all about them before.  For easy stations, you can make fabulous math stations in a fraction of the time by simply cutting up a worksheet into 5 or 6 pieces.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 Math Worksheet
  • 1 Answer Key
  • 5/6 sheets of different colored paper
  • 1 Station Word Foldable**
    ** This is totally optional as students can simply do the work in their notebooks. 

First, I find a worksheet that has all of the topics I am interested in working on.  My “teacher edition math book” is of course FULL of these.  I print off the Station Templates onto colored paper and cut them in half.  (One half is to glue the questions on, one side is to glue the answers on.)   I cut the worksheet into 6 pieces and then glue stick them onto the Station Templates.  I glue stick the answers onto the matching colored “Answer” sheets and fold them in half.  I insert the Stations into clear picture frames for easy viewing (and sharing) and then tape the answers up in a central location.

Viola!  I have quick and easy, color coordinated Math Stations.  The students get tons of practice while moving around the room.  I can help students that need it.  The kids love them, I love them.  Everybody wins!  🙂

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