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Pros: Students can share ideas and collaborate while solving problems, which makes for a fully engaging and empowering learning experience.
Cons: The interface takes a bit of getting used to; problems must have a due date.
Bottom Line: An innovative, community-based platform that helps students plan, strategize, and collaborate.
When students are ready to start solving word problems related to a specific math standard, create an assignment for them using the extensive activity bank and/or your own resources. Have students work individually to create a "Thinklet" and submit it to you and the class when they're finished. Once everyone has submitted their Thinklets (this could take one to two class periods), allow students to provide feedback for at least one of their classmates. If students are going to create videos of their solutions, be sure to review any necessary guidelines and instructions. Students should have a relatively quiet space in which to make their recordings due to background noise. If the number of devices is limited, students can work in small groups to create their Thinklets.
CueThink introduces students to Thinklets, which are stepped-out solutions to math problems. Each Thinklet guides students through four steps for solving problems: Understand, Plan, Solve, and Review. When students sign in to their account, they can view teacher-generated assignments and any Thinklets they have in progress or those they've submitted. Students can use tools, including a highlighter, cross-out, and a scratch pad to work through each step of the process. In the Solve step, they create a video (with audio and images generated by the platform) to show their solution. When students finish a Thinklet, they can share it with their teacher and classmates, giving others a chance to see their solution and provide feedback.
There's a comprehensive Educator mode with a teacher dashboard. When using a web browser, teachers can easily toggle between Educator and Student modes. The dashboard allows teachers to add students manually using classroom invitations or upload a class roster. Teachers can create assignments with deadlines and can view both in-progress and completed student work. Teachers also have access to a large bank of Common Core-aligned activities created by CueThink developers as well as by vetted users. Additional content bundles can be purchased, but the questions that come with the main license are quite extensive. A search engine finds activities that correlate to Common Core standards based on the desired topics and grade(s) selected.
CueThink is a fantastic way to engage students and make math come alive in the classroom. Students learn to use effective problem-solving strategies and collaboration, which are valuable skills for any discipline. It's extremely empowering for students to be able to create stepped-out solutions and share them with others while providing feedback for their classmates' solutions. A student reward system is lacking, but the concept of having kids create and share Thinklets is a brilliant and terrific way to promote deep learning and build students' critical thinking skills.