Teaching theater online: SeeSaw

SeeSaw is one of my favorite apps for teaching theater online. You can use it to teach just about anything, but I love to include it in our teaching theater curriculum kits. This is one of the SeeSaw activities included in our Warm ups unit with Cynthia Lowa.

Meet theater teaching artist Cynthia Lowa

Cynthia Lowa has taught acting and voice at Windermere Preparatory School, University of Central Florida, The Children’s Theatre of Florida, the New York Film Academy at Disney/MGM Studios, and other Orlando studios for more than ten years. She has directed multiple productions including Dear Edwina, Starmites, Tom Sawyer, The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White, Peter Pan and Wendy, Shrek the Musical, Murder at the BanquetNobody to Murder, and Lion King, Jr., A Broadway Musical Revue; The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and others!

What is SeeSaw?

SeeSaw is a web-based platform and app which allows students to create their very own digital portfolio. Teachers can create assignments or activities, and students can complete them using tools like drawing, video, audio, and text.

teaching theater onlineIs SeeSaw one of the popular apps for teaching theater online?

Over 10M teachers, students, and family members use SeeSaw every month across more than 75% of schools in the U.S. Your work at Seesaw will have broad reach and meaningful impact.

How does SeeSaw compare to other apps used for teaching theater online?

SeeSaw is similar to FlipGrid in its video recording function. I like to use SeeSaw for video recording for younger students and FlipGrid for older students. FlipGrid is just video focused while SeeSaw has a lot of other tools for students like photo, drawing, upload, note, and clickable links. SeeSaw can definitely be used for all grades. You would just want to make sure that the design is intriguing for those older students since the platform lends itself to a younger feel.

How does SeeSaw work for my students?

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How do students respond to the SeeSaw activity?

These are the instructions we’ve provided for the SeeSaw activity in our Warm ups middle school theater curriculum resource kit.

Description: This activity will help you warm up your vocal cords and improve your pronunciation with this Tongue Twister. 

Instructions: Try doing the Tongue Twister Warmup with Cynthia Lowa. Play the video and record yourself saying the Tongue Twister with her:

1. Click the button.
2. Click to play the video.
3. The words for the Tongue Twister are on the screen. You can also turn on the Closed Captions for the whole video.
4. Practice saying the Tongue Twister with Ms. Lowa.
5. Click to record yourself saying the Tongue Twister.
6. Resize your video box to cover the white box.
7. Click to submit your response.

teaching theater onlineHow much does SeeSaw cost?

The free version of SeeSaw includes: creative tools, family messaging, 2 teachers per class, 10 active classes and up to 100 activities. They do offer a paid version at $120/year and special pricing for schools. Click here for more details on SeeSaw pricing.

How can teachers create a SeeSaw activity?

We include SeeSaw activities in our curriculum kits so you don’t have to create them, and we provide you with the SeeSaw activity link so you can use it as a stand alone activity. To access the activity, you just click on the SeeSaw activity link, heart the activity, assign it to your class, and edit as needed. We encourage you to leave recorded instructions for your activity so that you can customize the activity for your students.

If you’re interested in creating your own SeeSaw activity, this tutorial shows you how to use the activity library workflow, create an activity, keep your activities organized. You’ll also see what the student’s experience looks like so you can adjust and adapt as needed.

How can SeeSaw be used for feedback and reflection?

“Some teachers use Seesaw primarily as a place for students to share their work, and specifically encourage individual reflection and peer feedback. Seesaw becomes a place not only where student work can be stored, but where teachers and peers can provide encouragement, constructive criticism, and suggestions for improvement. An authentic audience of peers can encourage students to do their best work. Teachers have the opportunity to review any comments before they are posted to ensure that feedback is constructive & appropriate.” Alison M. from SeeSaw

How can SeeSaw be used for assignments & assessments?

“Some teachers choose to use Seesaw in a more private way, where they can do student assessment, collect work, and give direct private feedback to students. You can even push assignments to students for them to complete and turn in via Seesaw. This makes Seesaw primarily a place where students and teachers can interact around their work.” Alison M. from SeeSaw

How do teachers use SeeSaw to engage more with students’ families?

“For other teachers, Seesaw is primarily used a way to communicate with families and keep them in the loop on the learning their child is doing at school. Students add posts to Seesaw that they are proud of in a self directed way, as well as work their teacher has assigned. Teachers report that students are motivated to do better work when they know their families will provide immediate feedback during the day or ask them about it that evening.” Alison M. from SeeSaw

What kind of training does SeeSaw provide for teachers?

Not only does SeeSaw provide training for teachers, but you can also get professional development hours for it. You can use the Training Pathway to decide which sessions are right for your staff, then review the Facilitator Overview to learn what to expect from the PD Kits. Click here to learn more about SeeSaw’s professional development program.

How do teachers train families to use SeeSaw so that they can maximize family engagement?

Start with inviting Families to Connect on the Seesaw Family App. There are two ways to do this.

Option 1: Click +Families to Invite Families Through Seesaw

Print Invites: Generate a PDF for each student with a unique QR code. Send PDFs home in backpacks, attach to an email, or use snail mail.

Text/Email Invites: Family members receive a text message or email with a link to connect to their child’s journal.

Option 2: Support Families to Connect Remotely

Make sure all families are able to connect on Seesaw even when you cannot meet in person. Family-facing resources are available in English and Spanish.

Click here to find all of the steps, videos, and links you need to get your families started.

If you’re interested in more SeeSaw training videos, check out this SeeSaw’s YouTube playlist: SeeSaw training.

What are your favorite music teaching apps and how do you use them in your elementary classroom?

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