Welcome to Jennie Magiera's Technology in Education Blog:

Redefining the (digital) Classroom

Saturday, September 10, 2011

ShowMe More Math Metacognition!

As we continue to explore how to increase students' math metacognition (see previous post on this topic), I am finding my iPads more and more invaluable. I've been working with two similar apps shared with me by the great folks at the ADE Institute: ScreenChomp and ShowMe. I started with ScreenChomp as I preferred its interface for my 4th and 5th graders, but have been recently learning towards ShowMe as it has a larger workspace.

Both apps offer the same basic audio and screen-recording features. I've been folding a routine into my differentiated math group time in which students receive a real-world math problem and solve it orally and visually utilizing one of these apps. They then post their response to my page on the app's website (set to private) and I am able to assess them at a later time as well as send their responses to classmates to view, evaluate and respond.

Here is an example of one student's thinking. I love how she starts, backtracks, gets a bit confused, regains her thinking path and perseveres through the problem. This authentic think-aloud paired with a visual workspace gave me an amazing assessment opportunity; it allowed me to accompany this young lady on her mathematical problem solving process and understand what she does and does not understand. Now consider the fact that I have 7 such videos from this period - created simultaneously while I was pulling differentiated math groups. There is almost no way I could have sat in that single 60-minute period and listened patiently to each these students think through this problem. Yet now I can listen and re-listen to assess their thinking - then archive that thinking to track their problem solving progress throughout the year.

My next step is to tie-in Edmodo. I plan to have my students embed these videos - or at minimum link them - on our class page for their classmates to view and leave comments. One of my professional goals this year has been to increase student self-efficacy in the classroom; I want to see each child take more ownership of his or her learning journey. I think this is a great way to make more transparent their own thinking - and the thinking of their colleagues. Once thinking becomes more transparent, they will be better equipped to understand how they think and how others may think differently - or similarly. Through this understanding I believe my students will be able to set more thoughtful goals from themselves as mathematicians.

As a part of this effort, one of my student math groups has begun to brainstorm ideas for rubrics with which we can assess this activity. As we work together to develop this rubric, I will definitely post it here!


  1. I saw you talk about this at TechWeek in Chicago last year. I tell the ipads-as-metacognitive-enablers narrative every where i can. Thank you!!

    The most powerful part of that presentation for me was how the capability shifted your perception of students with non-obvious mistaken answers. can you/have you blogged about that further?

    1. Hi! No more posts now, but I do have some more material... I'll put it on my to do list! Thanks!

    2. How do you have the kids record? I was just talking to someone in IT and the kids cannot record themselves speaking onto the ipad. Do you have them use headphones of some sort?

    3. The iPad 2s and 3s have a built in microphone, over the camera! :)

  2. I have been trying to develop rubrics for teachers(and students) to use when assessing Explain Everything or Educreations explanations of how they solved a given problem. So far the Exemplars rubrics seem best. Do you have any other suggestions or ideas?