Last year, we promoted and celebrated Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week across the school. This year, I’d like to take it further. Starting on World Kindness Day (Monday 13th November) and leading up to RAK Week 2018, the same organisation will launch the #CaptureKindness challenge (click here for more information). Each week, participants are encouraged to find opportunities to show kindness in suggested situations and contexts. The weekly tasks are shown here:
As an official RAKtivist (a Random Acts of Kindness Activist), I was keen to take the challenge but, more importantly, I want to promote this to my students. I want the children and families to get involved. Initially, I created a Google Drive folder for each week so that students could share their #CaptureKindness photos with one another. But why stop there? If we are going to build up a portfolio of kindness photos in fourteen different situations, across fourteen weeks and for twenty-nine people (including the co-teachers), that’s a lot of kindness! It merits a wider audience. Furthermore, I want us to see the photos from other classes around the world that are also taking the challenge.
Adults/teens can share the kindness snaps on social media (use the hashtag for the chance to win great prizes), but my primary students don’t have access to these sites and they don’t yet have any public platform (I’m working on it). An exciting idea struck me: we should use Seesaw blogs to connect with other classes!
Seesaw blogs are public by default but they can also be password protected. Although I have been using Seesaw for a few years, we have only just launched Seesaw for Schools across the whole primary section and we have therefore waited until now to take this next step. This kindness initiative seems like a lovely reason for us to finally connect.
If you would like to join us on Seesaw blogs, add your class details to this #CaptureKindness on Seesaw signup sheet, then choose some of the other blogs to follow. It isn’t a problem if the blogs are password protected, but you’ll need to contact the teachers for access (don’t be offended if they ask for proof that you are who you say you are).
If you haven’t used Seesaw blogs before, follow the steps below. Like the rest of Seesaw, it’s wonderfully simple. If your students already use it as a learning journal, it’s literally one extra click for them to share their work to the class blog. Simply select this globe icon underneath any journal item (click here for more information). First of all, you’ll have to enable the blog.
Seesaw Blog setup
From the Seesaw interface, click on the wrench icon to access your class settings. You’ll see the ‘Enable class blog’ option. Once you have toggled this on, more options will become available beneath it.
In the ‘Blog settings and appearance’ section, you will be able to customise your blog’s appearance. This section also includes some important settings that you need to consider, including whether or not your class blog will be password protected. It’s also worth noting that you can toggle on/off whether people can make comments on the blog. If an item has comments, the same comments are visible in both the journal and the blog. However, you have to decide if the external audience of your blog should be able to add comments or not. I suggest having this on so that our students can communicate with each other and practise vital digital citizenship skills and behaviour. After all, blog comments have to be approved by the teacher who owns the blog.
The ‘Connected blogs‘ section is where you can enter the URL addresses for other Seesaw blogs worldwide. You and your students will then have access to those blogs (the maximum is twenty connected blogs per class). Just click on ‘Connected Blogs (x)’ in the blog section of Seesaw.
- Please check with your school/Seesaw admin that you have permission to enable the blog
- Don’t give the password to students if you do not want parents to access (students don’t need the password because they just use their usual method to sign in)
- Do not share screenshots of other blogs unless the teachers have given you permission
- Students’ icons will appear on the blog so keep this in mind if your students use photographs of themselves
- Seesaw blogs will only display children’s first names but, even so, you might prefer to change these to initials instead
We warmly welcome you to join the #CaptureKindness challenge through Seesaw. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions. We very much look forward to connecting with you. Once again, here is the document to sign up.
We should model kindness as teachers, so get thinking! Week one: be kind to your community…
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