Diversify Homework With CueThink: Digitally Extend Your Classroom

Vary and enhance homework to create a digital extension of classroom learning. Youki Terada (2015) asks, “How can we transform homework so that it’s engaging, relevant and supports learning?” Here are some ways that teachers use CueThink to answer that question.

At home, students can:

Preview a problem

Students can begin to create thinklets that they will work on the following day in class. Teachers can ask students to not submit their thinklet to the class gallery so they can continue working on it during class time. Or, teachers can assign students to submit their thinklet, complete or incomplete, to the gallery to receive feedback from peers. After receiving feedback, students can edit their thinklet and submit to create an updated final version. 

Annotate peers’ thinklets

Annotations helps students with CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Assigning students to write annotations for homework allows students to independently practice giving effective feedback. Introduce the homework assignment with a classroom discussion on what is kind, specific and helpful feedback. Use an exemplar thinklet from the gallery to generate examples of annotations that fit your class criterium. Continued practice with Annotations will support students in learning the importance of digital citizenry and virtual collaboration.

Watch two thinklets that model different strategies

Dr. Matthew Beyranevand wrote “the more strategies and approaches that students are exposed to, the deeper their conceptual understanding of the topic becomes.” Comparing multiple strategies support students in learning how to plan their solution as well as evaluating the effectiveness of a strategy in relationship to a specific skill. Assign a problem for students to review or let students choose from the gallery. After watching both thinklets, students compare and explain which strategy is most effective and why. Comparisons of the two unique strategies can be written as an annotation or on paper.  

Revise a thinklet based on peers’ feedback

In an article, Educating the World said, “Good formative assessment celebrates the student’s successes but also offers strategies for improvement and advice on how to develop a greater depth of knowledge and understanding.” The annotations process provides peer-based formative assessment that students should use to improve their work.  After students receive peer feedback, give students time at the end of class to review annotations and ask clarifying questions. Then for homework, students create a new version of their thinklet that addresses peers’ feedback.


"Assessment for Learning: “Formative Assessment Is a Verb Not a Noun.” International Education Today. N.p., 26 Aug. 2015. Web. 14 July 2016.

Beyranevand, Matthew. "6 Ways to Help Students Understand Math." Edutopia. N.p., 22 Apr. 2016. Web. 14 July 2016.

Gordon, Norma. "Annotations Tic-Tac-Toe." RSS. CueThink, 4 Aug. 2015. Web. 14 July 2016.

Terada, Youki. "Research Trends: Why Homework Should Be Balanced." Edutopia. Edutopia, 31 July 2015. Web. 06 July 2016.