CASE STUDY No. 02

Encouraging Student Self-Reflection and
Revision While Strengthening Perseverance


School / District / Grade / Teacher

Tierra Bonita / Poway Unified School District / Grade 4 & 5 / Dena Glynn

Number of students using CueThink

134 students

Math Curriculum Used

Math Expressions™

Sample Teacher-Contributed Content

Mrs. Glynn needed to get more earbuds for her class. She went to Target and had a ten dollar gift certificate. If each pair of earbuds was $1.59 with tax, how many pairs of earbuds could she buy?

Challenges Addressed by CueThink

Some of my students need to slow down their problem solving process, reflect on and revise their original thinking.  Others need to strengthen their self-confidence as mathematical thinkers and feel that they can tackle a word problem and persevere.

CueThink Usage

My daily math block is 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I split that block of time into three rotations.  During one of the 25 minute rotations, my students use CueThink everyday. In the beginning, as they learn how to use CueThink and we establish class expectations, they focus on completing one of the four phases (Understand, Plan, Solve, Review) each day.  As their learning curve decreases, they are able to complete all four phases in a shorter amount of time. Once their thinklets are completed, we use the next day’s block of time to view each others’ thinklets and make annotations.

Student Outcomes

...the Understand Phase help[s] my students slow down their thinking.  It enables them to break down the word problem and really understand what they are being asked to do.  I introduced them to the language of “What do you notice?” and “What do you wonder?” that CueThink uses.  Using that language, in combination with the ability to automatically populate text students highlight in the word problem to the “What do you notice” box, adds tremendous value to the problem solving structure CueThink provides. My students can pull out pertinent information and isolate it in a way that you can’t do when a word problem is presented on paper.  It visually removes all the extraneous information so my students don’t feel overwhelmed, and instead, feel like they can break down a word problem and be successful in solving it.  I love how the “What do you wonder” section displays student reflection and individuality.  

Progress Indicators

My students are so engaged when they use CueThink - we can hear a pin drop in the classroom!  When they view each others’ thinklets and make annotations, my students are catching errors...in their own thinklet, or it gives them ideas on how to improve their explanations. This is a huge, unexpected positive I discovered in using CueThink with my students.  I see them taking the initiative to revisit their own thinklets and re-record or revise their original thinking.   

I decided to use student generated rubrics so my students could rate their own thinklets and enable me to score them as well, to further encourage their reflection and revision process. We chose a few model student thinklets as a class and discussed what aspects made them quality thinklets (based on math content and technology use).  Using those qualities, my students generated a class rubric I formalized.  My students use this rubric to critique their own thinklets, make revisions, and then I score their thinklets.  I see so much potential in developing my students’ growth mindset.