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In this top ten list, coming in at #2 is Seesaw Activities.
This past fall, Seesaw had a huge update by adding Seesaw Activities. I feel that it compares to Google Classroom because Seesaw Activities allows you to create assignments for certain students for them to complete. However, Seesaw Activities varies from Google Classroom because the activity can all be done within the app. In addition, you can hand in the assignment by clicking the submit button. It immediately goes to the teacher. Update: They now have numerous activities that are created by teachers that you can use and edit.
How to Use Seesaw Activities for Concert Preparation
This year, the students used two activities to prepare for the concert. I assigned one to help any third grader that wanted to audition for the vocal solo. I placed a recording of the solo in the activity. The students listened to it and could record themselves singing the solo and submit it back to me. This gave me the opportunity to give them advice before the live audition.
The second assignment was for their recorders. I made a video of me playing the recorder part. They
listened, recorded themselves playing it, and submitted it to me. If they played it with 80% accuracy, they earned a recorder star for their recorder straps. If they did not, I sent them a note on how they could improve. It is essentially a flipped recorder assignment.
There are alternatives to assigning and flipping the classroom. Google Classroom is another way I use to do this. However, it is challenging for the elementary students to submit audio and video to me. With Seesaw, they can do it all within the app.
Another way to assign video and audio activities is for the teacher to create a gmail music teacher account. For example, you can create an account that has the following, “firstname.lastname@example.org” with the name of the school in the _____ spot. You then ask the students to use their own devices at home to video or record themselves and submit it to that gmail address. If they do not have emails addresses, they could ask their parents. However, for younger elementary students, this will be challenging. Again, Seesaw makes this doable and intuitive for elementary music students because it is all within the app and they do not need email addresses to join Seesaw.
I have two Seesaw webinars on my website. Please check them out to learn more about Seesaw and Seesaw Activities. Finally, Seesaw has free and paid versions. The Activities portion is included in all versions.
Tomorrow, the #1 tool, along with a bonus, will be posted. This will be followed by a webinar showcasing all of the tools!
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com