October 24, 2020

Seesaw Mix & Match Activities for Physical Education

If one thing is for sure, it’s that 2020 has encouraged me to explore and learn a whole slew of new platforms, apps, and tools that could help me be more effective as a distance learning teacher.One of the platforms that I have been using this year for my younger students is Seesaw. If you’re unfamiliar with the app, Seesaw helps create student-driven digital portfolios, allows teachers to create and share assignments online, and keeps families and schools connected.In this post, I will show you how I created a simple “Mix & Match” activity for my students to gain insight into their understanding of movement concepts. Here are your learning targets for this posts:

  1. I can create an editable “Mix & Match” assignment in Seesaw.
  2. I can use text shortcuts to create visual instructions in a Seesaw assignment.
  3. I can add video instructions to a Seesaw assignment.
  4. I can assign a Seesaw activity to students, a folder, and to skills.

Creating A Seesaw Activity Template

The first thing we will need to do is create a template that we will upload to Seesaw for our assignment.

For this activity, I’ll be making a “Mix & Match” version of my “Moving On My Feet” poster. I had made that poster and its resources to help my students compare and contrast how the movement concepts of speed, level, and force are applied differently across the locomotor skills of walking, jogging, running, and sprinting.

Using the card graphics I had made, I redesigned the poster to better suit this “Mix & Match” style activity. Basically, I wanted to have spaces beside each skill that were the size of the little card graphics.Once everything looked right, I exported the new poster template as a PDF and saved all of the card graphics as PNG files.

Creating A Seesaw Activity

Over in Seesaw, I’ll jump to my class and hit the big green “Add” button followed by “Assign Activity” to go to my Activity Library. Once there, I’ll click “Create New Activity” to get started.I’ll give my activity a name and then create the “Template for Student Responses”. I’ll then select “Upload” so that I add my poster template to this activity. Once I’ve found it on my computer and dragged it over, I’ll hit the green check button to confirm.The first thing I’ll do from here is to make sure that I have my “Move” tool selected so that I don’t accidentally draw on top of this template. I’ll then hit the camera button and select “Upload” so that I can add those little cards to the activity. I can just select them all and click “Open” to add them all at once.Now I might need to resize these so that they match the template size, so I’ll use the top left gray square as a reference, drag the card over to align its top left corner, and use the bottom-right handle to resize the card to match the gray square without messing up the dimensions of the card. Once it’s the right size, I’ll drag it over to the tray on the right-hand side and repeat this little workflow with each of the other cards.One last thing I like to do is just to select a few random cards and rearrange their order in the assignment so that they’re all really mixed up. I’ll then leave the document like this so that this is exactly what the students see when they open it. If I sort it all out, then it will be already be completed for them, so let’s leave it mixed up.When I’m all done, I’ll hit the green check button again to confirm my work.Now it’s time to add some instructions. One thing I like to do here is to use Seesaw’s text shortcodes to make the instructions as visual as possible. By doing so, the codes will automatically transform into Seesaw’s graphics after I hit save. This makes it easy for younger students to follow the instructions by giving them visual cues that match Seesaw’s navigation icons. Check out the list of Seesaw’s text shortcodes below:

More creative tools means more shortcuts! Use these shortcuts in the "Student Instructions" portion of Activities. Type in the shortcut and it will transform into the icon after you click save.

— Seesaw (@Seesaw) June 21, 2019

The last thing I like to do is attach some video instructions to my assignments. This really is not necessary as all of the information is already there in the text, but it gives me one last chance to make sure that the kids have everything they need to confidently go about their work. Also, it gives me a chance to make them laugh, let them see my maskless face, and hear an un-muffled version of my voice. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m quite over 2020.

I made my video and uploaded it to YouTube. To attach it to the assignment, I’ll grab the YouTube link by copying the URL, jump back to my assignment in Seesaw, hit “Add Multimedia Instructions or Example”, select the “Link” option, paste the YouTube link into the “Enter a Website URL” field, hit the lower green check button, and then hit the upper green check button. After I’ve completed those 47 000 steps, my video will be attached to the assignment!All that’s left is to click “Save” and voilà! The activity is now in my Activity Library and ready to be assigned!

Assigning A Seesaw Activity

Here’s how I can assign this activity to my students so that they can complete it and save it to their Journals.From my activity library, I’ll select the activity to open it up. I’ll then hit the big green “Assign” button.From the pop-up that appears, I’m actually going to hit the blue “Edit Students, Folders, & Skills” hyperlink associated with the class I want to assign this activity to. You don’t have to do this but I like going this way so that everything is organized and so that I can save some time later.Since I want this going out to my students, I’ll start off by making sure that the “All Students In (Class Name)” option is selected.I’ll then move over to “Folders” to select the folder I want this to be sorted into. Since I have my own Seesaw class (i.e. I’m not sharing a class with other teachers), I use folders to organize work by unit (i.e. I have a folder for each unit I teach). If I were sharing a class with other teachers, I may be selecting a “Physical Education” folder to keep this separate from other subjects.Once I’ve selected the appropriate folder, I’ll move over to the “Skills” section.I use the Skills section to keep track of the grade-level outcomes (GLOs) that we focus on in class. I have these organized using SHAPE America’s National Standards and Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education. Here’s how I use Seesaw’s Skills data categories to enter SHAPE America’s GLOs:Name: GLO Title (from the rightmost column in the GLO document)Quick Code: GLO Code (from the grade-specific column in the GLO document)Grade: GLO gradeSubject: Physical EducationCategory: Standard number (e.g. Standard One)Description: GLO text (from the grade-specific column in the GLO document)So if I were adding this grade-level outcome as a Seesaw Skill:

I would fill in the Skill fields like this:

Anywho, I just wanted to share how I do that as it will make it easier for me to later see all of the evidence I’ve collected for a specific GLO for each of my students.Update: I eventually batch imported the SHAPE America Grade-Level Outcomes using Seesaw's administrator tools. Check out the tweet below for instructions/a link to the Google Sheet with all of the K-2 outcomes imported.

In this post, I mentioned that I imported all of the @SHAPE_America GLOs for K-2 into my @Seesaw account.

📄 Here's the spreadsheet so you can do the same:⚙️ Here are the admin instructions for bulk importing skills: #physed— (@phys_educator) October 27, 2020

Getting back to my assignment, I know that this activity was designed to help students demonstrate understanding towards some Standard One GLOs, so I’ll punch “S1” into the search field to pull up the GLOs of that standard and then select the appropriate one.With the students, folder, and skills all assigned, I’ll hit the green “Check” button in the top right corner and then hit “Assign to 1 Class” to assign the activity! 🥳So that is how I create a “Mix & Match” activity for my students in Seesaw! I hope this post has been helpful and supported you in reaching the learning targets that we set at the start.If you would like to support this kind of work and have access to the resources I’ve created for this Seesaw activity, feel free to download my “Moving On My Feet” poster from the Shop. I’ve added the Seesaw template tool to the download so that you can use them in your teaching. If you had previously purchased the “Moving On My Feet” poster and would like to have access to these new resources, just send me an email by Friday, November 6 2020 with your invoice number and I’ll send them your way.[button url="" target="_blank" color="blue" size="medium" border="false" icon="" btn_content="Download The Resources"]That’s it for today! Please take good care of yourselves, thanks again for reading, and Happy Teaching!

Joey Feith
Joey Feith is a physical education teacher based out of Nova Scotia and the founder of
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