Friday, September 8, 2017

Seesaw Does It Again!

Yesterday Seesaw announced that you can now download parent invite letters in 10 different languages! It's the "official" parent invite letter with a QR code included. You can only access this letter option on a laptop or desktop computer.

Example parent invite letter in Russian:

Looking forward to Seesaw adding additional translations in the near future!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

T. A. G. Strategy

We want our students to reflect on their own work but also to be able to give effective feedback to each other. This is true for writing, conversations, or digital work. It's tough for us as adults and even more difficult for our students - no matter the grade level.

As we have started using Seesaw ( and its student Comment feature, I've seen lots of "I like ..." and "That's cool" comments. Not very meaningful.

I recently came across this simple strategy called T.A.G: Tell, Ask, Give. An easy to remember acronym and a good way to get students started in making effective comments.  I've seen several variations but like these descriptors for the acronym:

Tell - something you learned or was meaningful ("like" if they are specific about what they like)

Ask - a question

Give - a compliment or recommendation (depending upon the purpose for the comment)

Download a pdf here.

Here are some additional resources for the T.A.G. strategy:

Librarian Arika: Tell Ask Give Strategy

TAG Samples pdf

TAG Sentence Starters

Any ideas or suggestions on how to use or improve this strategy for students?


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Exciting Seesaw Updates!

Seesaw has quickly become one of our favorite apps. It's a great way for students to create learning portfolios, make their thinking visible, and share with parents. This summer they rolled out a big update to their interface (Seesaw 5.0) and added several great features. Here are the biggies (for me at least!)

Announcements and Messages
Send announcements to families or students! Even privately message families!

Personalize Classes
Add icons and color themes

Simplified Tools
No more searching and digging for what you need!

Family App
You can now connect up to 10 family members - so grandma and grandpa can  connect too!

In addition, Seesaw has created a variety of great teacher resources for using Seesaw in the classroom and communicating with parents:

Ideas for Your Classroom:
Access resources specifically for your grade level or grade band. These include a getting started guide, student challenges, task cards, and more.

Pre K - 2

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

There are also short Seesaw courses you can take based upon your grade level band. They take about a hour to complete, are completely free, and you can get a certificate of completion. You do need a Seesaw account to log-in.

You can find more resources, ideas, and assistance in the Seesaw Help Center.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

ISTE Conference 2017

ISTE Conference here we come! Looking forward to learning, sharing, and collaborating with other ed tech gurus in San Antonio.

Lots to explore - Apple, Google, Seesaw, Makerspaces, and so much more!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Apple Updates Pages, Numbers, and Keynote...

Yes, apple recently updated the iWorks Suite - Pages, Numbers, and Keynote - for both IOS and Mac. The update I'm most excited about - the Shapes Library. They have added a built-in library of over 500 different shapes you can add to documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

The basic shapes are still there but also sets of Objects, Animals, Nature, Food, Symbols, Education, Places, Activities, Transportation, Arts, People, and Work. You can put shapes together to create a new shape, change colors, rotate, move on the screen, and type inside the shapes.


Learn more a Apple's support site for Shapes:


Monday, June 5, 2017

Explain Everything Tip - Simplified Interface

Explain Everything is an awesome tool but it can be a bit overwhelming with all of the tools, especially when working with younger kiddos.

Not to worry! Explain Everything has a Simplified Interface that removes some of those tools and makes it more accessible for new users. Watch this to see how easy it is.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Explain Everything Tip - Save as an Image

As I've stated before, Explain Everything is our favorite app. It is so flexible and can be used for so many things by both students and teachers. Here's a little Explain Everything tip.

Students love to use their Explain Everything slides in other projects or share them through apps such as Seesaw. Often they take a screenshot of a slide. The screenshot includes all of the Explain Everything toolbars.

Students can easily export their slides to the Camera Roll in Photos as an image without those toolbars.