CASE STUDY No. 01

Supporting Cognitively Guided Instruction:
Developing Students' Growth Mindset & Flexible Thinking


School / District / Grade / Teacher

Tustin Ranch Elementary / Tustin Unified School District / Grade 5 / Theodora Beauchamp

Number of students using CueThink

77 students

Math Curriculum Used

Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) with Math Expressions™

Sample Teacher-Contributed Content

Sally's parents took her to a bookstore to pick out books she would want to read during her vacation. She picked 10 books. Each of the books will take Sally 10 hours to read. Over Thanksgiving break, Sally spent 6 1/2 hours each day reading. Her vacation was 9 days total. How much time did she spend reading over her vacation? How many of her ten books will she have completely finished?

Challenges Addressed by CueThink

I want to enable my students ... to “unpack” a word problem, become flexible thinkers, and develop their growth mindset.

CueThink Usage

I use CueThink in a variety of settings. We have 1-1 iPads. I sometimes use CueThink for small group work to help students attain mastery of concepts that they need. A lot of the time, I use CueThink whole-class. In CGI, you usually give three number sets. I have my students work out two number sets on paper and complete the third number set in CueThink. The best feature in CueThink is giving my students the ability to record their thinking. I can listen to their thinking while they are recording or after the fact, identify the strategies they used, and through CGI, guide them to using other strategies. I review student work in CueThink at the end of each day before creating my next CGI problem set to meet where my students are.

Student Outcomes

I anticipate growth in my students’ ability to “unpack” the problem using CueThink.  The Understand and Plan phases in CueThink support the CGI model of “unpacking” the problem. They can underline the important parts of a word problem, ask unanswered questions in the “I Wonder” box and enable us to talk about those questions as a class, and create a plan of action of strategies to try. All of the features in CueThink are exactly what you do in CGI.

Progress Indicators

My students are a lot more flexible in revising their work and thinking... The explanations they provide...are so valuable. By ...record[ing] their voices over their work, I can hear if they have the math vocabulary, the multiple steps and strategies. A big component of CGI is sharing out student strategies and work. CueThink enables them to see all of their friends’ work and different ways of solving one type of problem. My students ask to go back and make revisions to their thinking after receiving feedback from me and their peers [through the annotations process]. They are able to show that transformation already, which is so important in developing flexibility in their thinking.