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Using Cosketch in Math

November 29, 2011

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Today we used CoSketch in our sixth grade math class. We had five groups of four students, which meant that each group had their own CoSketch page, created in advance and posted on Edmodo for easy access. The first part of the lesson asked students to solve and explain how to solve a multiplication problem with a mixed number. This worked well because CoSketch is a lot like Google Docs, where the same link can be displayed on multiple users’ screens and if one person manipulates the canvas, everyone sees it in close to real-time. After one student completed a step, another student described the steps that student took. The next student completed the next step, while the student after that described the step. It was a valuable metacognitive experience for the kids, as they had to use their own words to describe why they were doing something.

After each group completed their board, students looked at each others’ and voted on what the best board was. There was a tie for two boards, one which had all the correct information without multiple colors, while the other winner used many colors and was visually appealing but was missing crucial steps in its explanation. This opened up a valuable conversation with students as to what we look for when we evaluate work and how we might evaluate differently in the future.

Here’s a couple things to watch out for with CoSketch:

  • board automatically erases after 10 minutes of inactivity
  • if student accidentally “clears all,” there is an undo button that saves previous versions and is easy to revery back to
  • difficult to erase and manipulate font size in text
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