How I Use It
In my fourth grade math class, I use CueThink during my rotations. Each rotation is about twenty minutes. The first time I teach a group of students using it, we do the four different phases (Plan, Understand, Solve, and Review) together, step-by-step. This takes about 3 class sessions (an hour). After that, students can complete the task in under forty minutes or less. The true fun comes when they share their Thinklets (screencasted videos of them solving the problem) with each other. Students spend time watching each other's solutions and giving solid feedback. I've even have had students watch their peer's videos and go back to fix their own. One thing to watch is their feedback. To make sure you're not getting "Good job" or "Way to go" comments, provide a variety of starting sentence responses, like "I agree with your answer ______" or "I could tell by your strategy you________" and directly model this with the class. The other piece that's great, is I can add my own problems to the mix (They have a bank of problems for you as well). I was able to do a district test within the app and my students did a better job than when they completed a similar problem on paper.
I LOVE CueThink. It breaks down the ominous aspect of word problems into phases, which allow for success for different learners. They have the opportunity to mention what they notice, highlight, wonder, and give estimates WAY before they start to solve it. It slows down those math students that read the problem and "instantly" know the answer (which in some cases is totally off). I've had really reluctant students actually enjoy solving the problems. The best piece is the student gallery where they get to see each other's solutions. That is really motivating and they look the most forward to that aspect of the program. The other great aspect is you can search by standard of the problem banks already provided. This is incredibly helpful as I'm locating additional word problems to use.