Updated July 24, 2020
During distance learning, we all had to get pretty creative with how we delivered instruction. As my school district started making a plan, one of the biggest questions my team of kindergarten teachers faced was, “How do we take attendance?”
We wanted to keep it simple. We knew that parents of 5 and 6 year olds would need to be really involved in helping their children navigate distance learning. We also knew that family schedules vary – logging in at the same time every day may not work for everyone.
Using Seesaw Question of the Day for attendance
We decided that we would take attendance by posting a Question of the Day every morning in Seesaw. Our district chose Seesaw as the platform for delivering instruction to students in grades K-2, and I’m so glad they did because it’s AMAZING!
Each day, we posted the Question of the Day by 8:00 am. Students had until 8:00 pm to complete the activity so they could be counted “present” for attendance.
We decided not to have it due until 8:00 pm because we wanted to keep it flexible for families, since we know that parents:
- did not sign up to be home school teachers
- may still be working full-time
- probably have more than one child at home to manage.
In a perfect world, every kid would be at home with a parent who is able to log on to Seesaw at the same time every day. But, our world right now is far from perfect, and we were trying to make it as easy as possible for everyone. So, 8 pm it was.
Benefits: SO much more than attendance!
After using Question of the Day for distance learning, I discovered that there were so many other benefits beyond taking attendance:
- It’s a quick & easy skills check (those new sight words we learned just before school closed? Oopsie! Might need a little more practice with those!)
- I got to hear their sweet voices and man, oh, man are they adorable!
- They got to hear my voice every day – I always responded with a voice recording (parents reported that their kids loved it).
- I got to see glimpses of those personalities that I miss so much! Their drawings, voice responses, writing, and personal touches (like hand-drawn smiley faces or a music note icon added to every response) reminded me of how they were in the classroom, and made me feel at least a little bit connected to them still.
- I could easily differentiate in just a couple minutes by editing the activities for different students. Watch the video tutorial at the bottom of this post to see just how easy it was!
So, what started out as a simple check-in became one of the most powerful aspects of distance teaching for me. And that’s why I feel like I can’t keep this all myself – I want you to be able to use my Questions of the Day too!
Read on for an overview of all the Questions of the Day themes that I’ve created and am sharing with you for free. Click on the images to take see them in more detail. Then scroll to the bottom of this post to get your download!
UPDATE: More Questions of the Day have been released!
When all was said and done at the end of the school year, I had 7 weeks worth of Question of the Day activities to share with you (scroll to the bottom of this post to get them for free!). But then people started requesting more that they could purchase, so I got busy creating more! There are currently two more sets available now in my TpT store:
Another option is to join the Seesaw Lover’s All-Access Club! You get access to both of these sets, plus all the other current and future Seesaw activities created by Little Playful Learners! Plus you get exclusive video tutorials for you, your students and their families. And there are no recurring monthly membership fees – pay once and get lifetime access!
Ok, back to your regularly scheduled programming…
Question of the Day Week 1
The first week, we stuck with Question of the Day activities that would help them practice working with the tools they would be using most often in their Seesaw lessons. After we had a week to practice and work out all the kinks (well, let’s be honest…most of the kinks…some of the kinks???), we switched to more academic activities. Here’s what the weekly schedule looked like:
These activities are embedded in my original post about distance learning, but I think you’ll find some great info there! I’ve also updated these activities to make them more focused on learning how to use the tools.
Week 2: Seeds, plants, and trees
Week 3: Spring
Week 4: Insects
Week 5: Ocean
Week 6: Dinosaurs
Week 7: On the farm
How to save & edit the activities:
Watch this short video to see how you can edit the text and instructions in Seesaw activities so you’re truly providing your class with meaningful learning. You can:
- Change the words in the sight word hunt
- Modify the story problems to make them easier/more difficult
- Change the text and/or voice instructions
- And more!
You can get all of these activities in one easy download by clicking on the image below. Add them to your Seesaw library and assign them as is, or edit them and make them your own!
Or, join my Seesaw Lover’s All-Access Club to get all 650+ Seesaw activities I’ve created so far, plus new releases every week!