Distance learning tips for how to use a daily Question of the Day using the Seesaw app with kindergarten and first grade students. Includes a Seesaw tutorial for adding daily attendance questions.
You worked hard to set up classroom routines, like Question of the Day, morning meeting, and daily read-aloud time. Then distance learning came along. You had to focus on classroom community in an entirely new way. And so many of your normal routines were thrown out the window! Some routines, such as a daily read-aloud, have been easier to transfer to distance learning with videos or video-conferences. But other routines have taken more time and creativity to implement. One of those routines might be Question of the Day. But never fear – this blog post will tell you exactly how to add a question of the day to the Seesaw app.
You can create your own daily questions right on the app or upload some pre-created questions. First, I’ll explain (in detail) how to create a question (or other assignment) on Seesaw. Then, I’ll show you how to add an image with a question as an assignment. Finally, I’ll give you some tips about how to use a question of the day as part of your distance learning routine.
Create the Question
Here is a step-by-step tutorial for creating a question of the day in Seesaw (as an assignment. I go into detail for the novice (or for those who need a reminder).
First, click the green plus sign, and selected “Add assignment.”
Then select “Create New Activity” from your library.
Next, give your assignment a title (such as “Question of the Day” or “Morning Question.”) Then click “Add multimedia instructions or example” at the bottom of the page.
To create your question in Seesaw:
Then click the text button on the left.
Type your question into the box that pops up. When you finish typing, you can enlarge your question. Click outside the text box, then click and drag one of the dots that appears on the text box.
Use a Pre-Made Question
If you prefer, you can use a pre-created question (as an image). Here are the steps to do that.
Follow the steps above until you get to the multimedia instructions/example screen. Choose “Upload.”
Then choose “Select from Computer” and select your file. You can upload a jpg, png or PDF. (Not sure how to get a jpg, png or PDF? Read the next section.) Once you select a file, you will see the green check mark. Click it when you are finished. This tells the app that you don’t want to add another image. (If you add a PDF, this step will be skipped because you can only add one PDF to an assignment.)
You can create your own question or insert a pre-made question of the day image into Seesaw.
Selecting One Page from a Document
Do you want to add just one page from a longer document? If you have a longer PDF, you will need to select just one page to add. There are a few ways to accomplish this.
Print as a PDF
One way is to print the page as a PDF. This varies a bit from computer to computer (and may also vary based on your printer). But, typically it involves selecting “Print to PDF” within your print screen (sometimes from the printer choices, sometimes within the print dialogue box.) Tell the computer which page number you want to “print” (or save) as a PDF. This will create a single-page PDF to upload.
Take a Screenshot
The other method is to take a screen shot of the page. Again, the exact directions vary depending on your computer, but it is generally pretty simple to do. This will create an image that you can upload.
For instance, on a Mac, you select Command, Shift 4 to take an “photo” of part of the screen. On a Windows computer, the steps will depend on your operating system.
Using the Question of the Day on Seesaw
The final step in the Seesaw tutorial is sharing it with your class. In Seesaw they use the term “assign” for this task.
After you click the green check and save, you will return to a screen that has “Assign” in the upper right corner.
Click the assign button to share the question with your class. If you are preparing in advance, you can even schedule the assignment to be shared at a later date or time.
On the assigned day, students can respond to the question. To respond, students can write on the screen, circle a response, or record a voice response.
The image below shows a question where students can write their name under their response (or circle it).
Here is a question that works well for students to leave a voice response. They could also write their response in the white section on the screen.
Overwhelmed at the idea of creating and saving an image each day? I can help with that! I made the questions of the day shown above with you in mind! Not only are there questions for every day of the school year, but I saved each individual image as a png that you can add to Seesaw easily! You can get them at my TPT store.
Tired of making your own questions? I have hundreds of pre-made questions in my store. Some sets are specific for beginning readers (using common high frequency words). Others are designed for conversation and are easy to upload on Seesaw. All of the question sets will save you time and free up energy to devote to other parts of distant learning.
One Last Tip
Completing attendance on Seesaw is so much easier for students (and families) when you make the attendance question easy to find. If your Seesaw classroom is anything like mine, there are multiple assignments each day. Families have to scroll through to find the attendance in order to submit it on time.
Make it easy on them with some consistency. If you type a question every day, you might add the same clipart image each day. Something like a large checkmark or smiley face will make it clear to families to start with this task. Or add a similar border or frame to each question.
The assignments in the student view are listed based on when they were posted. Older posts are buried deeper in the list of assignments. If you schedule assignments through Seesaw each day, you might schedule attendance a few minutes later than other assignments. This should put it near the top of the list, again helping parents find it quickly.
No matter how you structure it in Seesaw, your students will enjoy continuing this daily routine. It’s nice to add a bit of consistency for students whether they are in the classroom or learning from home on any given day. Plus, if this is the way you are taking attendance during distance learning days, the consistent format makes it quick and easy for parents and students to find as they log in each day.
Learn more about distance learning in these posts: