Distance Learning 2020 Seesaw in St. Peter's National School
Seesaw in St. Peter's National School
A Message from Miss Blennerhassett - Principal Teacher
The current situation of school closures and distance learning has presented many challenges for everyone. When we realised schools would remain closed for some time, we in St. Peter's aimed to put in place some communication systems and teaching and learning plans which could be implemented easily at home. The teachers in St. Peter's felt very strongly that the 'new normal' we aimed to establish and the teaching and learning plans put in place, should be sustainable and manageable for all in what is already very challenging times. We are very mindful of the fact that some children can learn independently, but many can't. Some children work well independently with busy tasks, but some don't and need a lot of support. Prescribed activities for some is very helpful but for others it is detrimental. Therefore, when establishing a distance learning plan we had each and every child's needs at the forefront of our minds. Through much thought and discussion, we decided to use 'Seesaw' as our online education tool as it allows us to set work, provide guidance, give meaningful feedback and most importantly keep in regular contact with parents and the children. Homeschooling is a choice and none of us are in this situation by choice. We can only do our best and so too can you all and the children. The plans emailed home are intended to help and support parents. It is in no way to be felt as extra pressure during this already very anxious and difficult time for all. We can all only do our best and it is important for us all to recognise our own abilities and limitations, especially during times like this.
So what is Seesaw??! Seesaw is a digital portfolio tool which allows pupils to store their work in an online space and gain feedback from their teacher. It can be used on a computer, tablet or smartphone. It effectively enables teachers to set tasks or assignments and include instructions or templates for students to use at home. We can then comment and provide further assistance if needed. Each pupil has a folder on their Seesaw platform. The pupils can select a number of tools to add content to the folder. Once content has been uploaded, pupils can then add narration, text and drawings to the file to further explain why they have included this content, to describe the learning that has taken place. There are a number of ways that pupils can upload content, these are listed below: Photos: Images can be taken using the native camera on the device being used. Pupils can take photos of their work and add a narration to this explaining a process. They can also add text to their images, or draw on the image to include arrows and additional information. Videos: Pupils can record recordings of themselves engaging in oral language work and upload it to the platform for feedback from their teacher. Drawing: Pupils can use this tool to create diagrams which can be uploaded to the platform and can add narration to this to explain their workings. Camera Roll: Pupils can upload images from the camera roll and can add narration and text to these as normal. Notes: Pupils can type pieces of text such as reflections and longer pieces, such as narrations, and upload them to the website. They can also create their text in one language (eg. English) and add narration in another language (eg. Gaeilge) to create dual-texts. Links: Pupils can upload relevant links to their folder on the platform to add more information to their projects etc. We have been absolutely blown away by the effort and determination shown in the children's work submitted on Seesaw on a daily basis. It is a true testament to their strength and resilience during this difficult time. I am also very grateful to the staff who very quickly and cohesively adopted a new teaching and learning style, which has been a huge benefit to every child in our school.
St. Peter's N.S is a strong family and this new found distance will only make us stronger, more innovative, creative and determined than ever to be and do our very best!
A Message from Miss Coyle - JI, SI and 1st Class
I have to admit that when we first started to think about distance learning and the introduction of Seesaw as an online tool, I was a little overwhelmed about the task that lay ahead and whether my I.T skills would be up to scratch in order to deliver it successfully. However, I found that Seesaw was a relatively straight forward tool to navigate and I found myself enjoying it the more I used it. For me, it is a great opportunity to connect with my pupils on a daily basis and give as much positive feedback as I can as regards their learning and progress. I have been blown away by the standard of work that has been uploaded to the forum on a daily basis whether it is drawing, arts and crafts, daily exercise routines or their personal achievements in Mathletics and Reading eggs. I am so proud of all of my class for working so hard and remaining so positive in their approach to their learning in spite of these difficult circumstances we now find ourselves in.
A Message from Miss Middleton - 2nd and 3rd Class
What a strange situation we find ourselves in. Our one class has been split and is now still going (strongly, I may add) on in 27 separate homes. The classroom is now a kitchen table, a home office, a bedroom or a quiet corner away from the hustle and bustle of everyday home life. For me, and you all, it has been a shock to the system, and certainly has taken some getting used to. There are good days and bad. Happiness, eureka moments and tears (I hope it's not just me!). What I can say about Distance Learning, Home Schooling or whatever you may call it, is that I have seen each child excel in so many different way. Handwriting getting neater, creating something new, conquering a new topic, fluent reading in English and Gaeilge, learning new words and so much more. I have particularly enjoyed the big hellos and pictures of what you have been doing. I am so proud of everything that has been achieved by each and every one of you. I am looking forward to seeing what work you'll get up to over the next few weeks but even more importantly, I cannot wait to see everyone (in person!), when we eventually get back to school. Keep it up and remember, we are here for you and we are in this together!
A Message from Miss McGovern - 4th, 5th and 6th Class
I am so pleased with the ease and readiness our pupils have shown when adopting a new way of learning. Within a short space of time they were all posting photos, videos, audio clips, digital art and samples of work completed at home. Technology has enabled us to stay connected despite our distance. It has been a real treat to see all of our pupils engaging with online learning and committing to their own education. We are currently using SEESAW and it has provided us with the ability to teach, assign work and give targeted feedback. I particularly love the facility to post instructional videos. Pupils can pause and re-watch these videos to help them fully understand the topic. I am especially proud of our 6th Class pupils who have shown great commitment to their own education. I know this experience of distance learning will stand to them in secondary school as they are now very familiar with independent study, taking responsibility for their own learning and the importance of sticking to a study routine. These unusual circumstances have posed a new set of challenges for our school community but I am so proud of our pupils who have shown resilience, dedication and great creativity in the face of such challenges.