Dotstorming and Google Drawing

This past week I worked with a 3rd grade class using collaborative Google Drawings. Students had been studying the different geometry terms: point, line, line segment, ray, parallel lines, perpendicular lines, acute angle, right angle and obtuse angle. The teacher and I wanted to provide her students with an activity that would have them working with these terms....

We started the lesson by splitting the class up into two teams: Team Smith and Team Taylor. Members from Team Smith chose a partner from the Team Taylor group to be their "virtual partner". We had everyone navigate to the shared folder the teacher had sent to their Google accounts. Members of Team Taylor were instructed to create a Google Drawing doc within the shared folder and name it their partner's name. Team Smith students then saw their doc pop up on their screen inside of that shared folder and they were able to hop onto the same doc as their partner. This made it so much easier to share a canvas rather than having the students type in their partner's long email address.

The teacher and I introduced the task: Each set of partners had to create a scene using the different geometry terms that needed to be labeled. They could only communicate through the chat feature within Google Drawing. Mrs. Taylor worked on her computer that was projected and I worked from my computer to show the students how we would work together (without talking). We also modeled how to use the different tools in Google Drawing to help us accomplish our task.    
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Students did an incredible job communicating and creating together. They only had 40 minutes to create so they had to move quickly. When the 40 minutes was up, students on Team Smith saved their drawing as a jpeg. We then had students click on a link in the Student Server that took them to a Dotstorming board that I had created. Dotstorming is a lot like Padlet but with some different features. Team Smith students uploaded their pictures for everyone in the class to see. Click {HERE} to access their board. *I locked the board so messages/images can't be added* 

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Students loved when everyone's image popped up on their screen in real time. This was the first time I had ever used Dotstorming so I was interested in testing it out with this class. It allows you to "vote" on your favorite post (can be an image or just text) by clicking the small bubbles under each image. When I made the board I was able to indicate how many votes the students would be able to make. For this lesson we allowed them to vote for their favorite TWO images. Also, you can add comments to each post which is really cool!

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Dotstorming does not provide an embed code like Padlet provides; however, it is still a great tool for students to share work, communicate and provide feedback. I will definitely be using this in the future. Very easy yet very effective!


  1. Hi Julie,

    I am such a fan of your ideas - I work in a 1:1 school with Chromebooks, so I am always super excited to see ideas that I can translate to that. I am actually recreating your Collaborative Geometry project tomorrow with two 3rd grade classes in different buildings! I am having trouble opening the Dotstorming link to your project samples though. It worked fine for me last week. Do you happen to have these in a folder that you could share with me so I can use them as samples for the students? (Rather than recreating samples?) Let me know: amele@htps.us. Thanks so much! Amy

    1. Hi Amy!! Thank you for following :) Too funny...I'm writing a blog post right now that is referring to this post and had it pulled up on my screen. So, I just signed into my Dotstorming dashboard and the Geometry board isn't there. I'm thinking that I helped the teacher set up her own account and that's where the board is nested. I also tried to access the board from the link posted and it is just spinning. I'll reach out to that teacher and see if she can login and take a screenshot to send me that I can send you! If I don't hear from her then maybe you could zoom in on the images above to show your students? I'm sure it will be blurry but it might be worth a try :)