Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2016


Social approach to problem-solving promotes deep math learning

Subjects & skills
  • Math

  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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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 learning cruve for using all the student and teacher features is steep.

Bottom Line: CueThink is 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 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. If the number of devices is limited, students can work in small groups to create their thinklets.

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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 accounts, they can view teacher-generated assignments and any thinklets they have in progress. Students can use tools, including a highlighter and a scratch pad, as they work through each step of the process. In the Solve step, they can even create a video 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 solutions and provide feedback.

There is 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. Teachers can create assignments with deadlines and can view both in-progress and completed student work. Teachers also have access to a bank of Common Core-aligned activities created by CueThink developers as well as by vetted users. The CueThink Problem Bank includes free Problem of the Week (PoW) scenarios as well as access to content bundles for an additional fee. To search for activities, enter one or more grades, and the 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. It would be great to see a larger bank of activities. However, as the user community grows and more educators share their ideas, the resources will likely continue to grow as well. A student reward system is lacking, but the concept of having kids create and share thinklets is a terrific way to promote deep learning and build students' critical-thinking skills.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students can record videos of their solutions, which they will enjoy. Sharing and collaborating with classmates is bound to engage all kids, fully immersing them in the experience.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

CueThink uses a four-step problem-solving strategy, allowing students to think through their solutions and share their strategies with teachers and classmates.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

A built-in tutorial highlights important features. The community blog is an excellent source for up-to-date information. In-app audio tutorial support could help students with alternative learning needs.

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Tawnya V. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Tolsia High School
Fort Gay, United States
Great way to learn in groups
The recording feature is my favorite feature. It gives the students who are shy the ability to communicate with their group. I love how the group can comment on each others solution. I feel that this program is great for those students who need visual aids. It makes learning fun.
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