Chesterfield Day School
Seesaw for Schools helps Chesterfield Day School provide transparency to their personalized teaching approach and encourage student reflection.
Jeff Horwitz is the Associate Head of School of Chesterfield Day School. Chester
field Day School is a private school located near St. Louis, Missouri that serves 150 students, ranging 18 months old through 6th grade.
Providing Transparency to Chesterfield’s Teaching Approach
“Our mission is to bring a personalized education of unparalleled excellence to every child. In our younger grades we use Montessori education and in our older grades we use a blend of personalized methodologies including project based learning. Seesaw gives more transparency to our teaching approach. Take a page of ‘at’ sound spelling words. That worksheet crunched up in a backpack means nothing. But a video of the child spelling those words, sounding them out, that’s everything. That’s real communication.”
Since using Seesaw at Chesterfield Day School, “the conversation between parents and students have gone from, ‘How was your day today?’ to ‘Oh! I saw you were working on a presentation in social studies, what was that about?’. From a teacher point of view, Seesaw has provided greater transparency into what is happening in our classrooms.”
For parents, Seesaw helps showcase the diversity of learning happening each day, especially for younger learners. “Seesaw helps those conversations happen. And it gives our parents pride, pride about what their child is learning. Parents can carry that around, they can whip out their app and show it off their friends. They love it.”
Encouraging Student Reflection and Enabling Student-Led Conferences
Not only do parents have a deeper understanding of what their children are learning, but students now have “this reflective opportunity, both in the moment and in the future. Students can go back and find a piece of work in their Seesaw portfolio that represents their best work, and pull that out. They can have that conversation at home or at student-led conferences, which is something we plan to do more and more of. Students have even started to include video reflections in their portfolios reflecting on what they learned that day or the day before.”
Getting teachers to incorporate Seesaw into their teaching routines has been easier than other tools they’ve tried at Chesterfield Day School. “What’s been really great is that our teachers find Seesaw really easy to use, everyone knows how to take a photo or record a video. Our previous system was not easy, and less than half of parents were even reading what we had put up. To be able to know that someone saw it, liked it, commented on it, it makes my teachers feel like adding to Seesaw is time well spent.”
Using Real-Time Data to Understand Student Progress
Jeff says that as an administrator “it’s nice for me to check in and see who is adding work, what are they adding. The stats are very cool. I can see that Seesaw is valuable time spent on both the teacher end and the parent end. It’s been one of the best things we’ve initiated this year.”