Are you a teacher who has recently discovered Seesaw? Seesaw is used to collect work, send announcements, or showcase student work to families. No matter how you use the platform, Seesaw has you covered!
Whether you are a newbie or a Seesaw pro, there is probably something about this ever-changing platform that you haven’t played with yet. One of the most important features is the ability to connect with students’ families. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about How to Connect with Families via Seesaw!
To begin using Seesaw, connect families to their students’ accounts. If your school or district has a “Seesaw for Schools” subscription, you may not need this step. Otherwise, look for the “Add Families” button in the bottom, right-hand corner of your classroom screen.
The first time you click on the “Add Families” button in Seesaw, you may see a screen like this. Click on the button that says “Turn on Family Access” to continue.
You will then be taken to a screen that will allow you to add, update, or remove family access. Each student is listed, and you can invite families via phone number (text) or email. You can also print out invites with student-specific QR codes or send a blanket link out to all parents with the “Share an Invite Link” option. Whether you invite them individually or send out the invite to a group, families will be so excited to be connected to their student’s learning!
Choose how Families can Interact
Now that families are connected, you can adjust how they interact with their student on Seesaw. By clicking on the “Settings Wrench” at the top, right-hand corner of the classroom dashboard, you can find specific settings for families.
If you enable family comments that you also make them require approval, as shown in the last two settings. I’ve had enough close calls to know that this setting is the default for a reason!
Family Account Settings
No matter what teachers set up on their end, families have control over the number of notifications and emails that they receive.
Families have control over what they see and when. Some families like to see what their student posts right away. while others just want a “recap” email at the end of the day. Reminder: this is on the family account – teachers can’t change these settings for families.
Connect and Thrive
Once you have connected families to their students, the hard part is over! Families will receive notifications (as set up in their account settings) when you post an announcement or their student posts a journal entry. Here are some of the different ways that teachers can communicate with families:
Go to your “inbox” tab in your Seesaw classroom, and click on “Family Announcements”. When you send an announcement, it will go out to all connected families in the “Inbox” section of their account.
Any time a student posts something to their journal and that post has been approved by you, the families will receive a notification. This might happen immediately or at the end of the day, depending on what settings the family has set up on their end. After they see the notification, the family can click on the post to “Like” or comment on it, as well as save it to their own device.
If you make a post and tag all students in it, all families will be able to see that post. If you only tag certain students, only those families will be able to see the post. The only thing to be careful of is the “Activities” feature. When you post an “Activity” for students, you are giving them a task to accomplish. Families will not see the activity, they will only see the result of the activity, meaning the item or post the student creates to accomplish the task you have given them.
Assignments for SeeSaw
Lucky Little Learners has a variety of student activities and assignments that are compatible with SeeSaw. Below you will find a list of resources that we recommend assigning to your students.
- Digital Math Toothy Task Cards
- Digital Phonics Toothy Task Cards
- Digital Grammar Toothy Task Cards
- Digital Reading Toothy Task Cards
- Digital Spiral Math
- Digital Math Puzzles
- Digital Vocabulary Activities (Google link with force copy at the end)
- Digital Phonics Passages (Google link with force copy at the end)
- Digital Growth Mindset Passages (Google link with force copy at the end)
- Digital Writing Centers (Google link with force copy at the end)
- Check out how to post activities like Digital Toothy to Seesaw.
- Check out how to do a force copy link on any Google Slides assignment to use in Seesaw.
Seesaw is a robust and useful classroom tool that has only gotten better as time goes on. The ability for teachers to connect with families, and the amount of control families have on how and when notifications arrive is the best I’ve seen right now. If you haven’t tried to Connect with Families via Seesaw, maybe now is the time! For those of you who are seasoned Seesaw pros, how do you Connect with Families via Seesaw? Let us know below – we’d love to get some new ideas!