Home/School Connections: CueThink can help!

We all know how important family involvement is for student learning. But, sometimes, finding ways to involve families can feel like just one more thing in your already busy life. CueThink can help! Here are two ideas to connect home and school learning, with activities for parents to try with their child.

1. Giving and receiving feedback

Why This Matters:

Asking families to explore the gallery and view annotations together is a great way to start a conversation at home about giving and receiving feedback.

It can be really hard to accept feedback, especially for kids. Feedback that is specific is more helpful than vague comments like “that's good” or “that's bad”. By giving learners explicit tools and strategies to both give and receive feedback in a respectful way, we are providing them with opportunities to practice responding to different perspectives that they will encounter throughout their lives. Additionally, giving feedback through a digital platform connects to students’ experiences with social media and enables teachers to develop students’ digital citizenship skills.

Steps For Parents To Try With Students:

First, share a time that you received feedback, like after completing a project at work or cooking a meal for a friend. What were you told? Talk about how it felt to receive that feedback, and what kinds of statements were helped you grow or improve. Did you receive feedback that was negative or hurtful? How could that feedback have been phrased differently to help you grow or improve?

Then, ask your child to tell you about a time they received feedback from sports or other extracurricular activities (kids frequently get feedback about their form or technique). Ask what feedback helped them improve. Were they told anything unhelpful or hurtful? How could that feedback have been phrased differently to be more helpful?

Once you have shared your personal experiences feedback, ask students how they feel about the feedback they get from peers’ annotations on CueThink. Together, log into your child’s CueThink account. Go to the Gallery and select a thinklet. Read the annotations for that thinklet together and discuss what parts of the annotation are helpful feedback. Together, you can even reply to the annotation and share your thoughts.  

2. Practicing problem-solving language

Why This Matters:

Too often, kids think of math as something that can only be used in class. Encourage consistent language at school and home by asking parents to notice and wonder with their kids. By using common language, you are building a bridge for students to transfer math language to everyday situations.

Steps For Parents To Try With Students:

First, ask your kids about an everyday problem like, “What should I cook for dinner?”

Open the fridge and model what you notice. Such as, “I notice we have leftover chicken and lots of fresh broccoli.” Talk about how, for this personal situation, you are noticing things related to your problem of what to have for dinner. Noticing that the fridge is dirty is not relevant for the problem you are trying to solve.

Then, share something you wonder such as, “I wonder if there is a good recipe for chicken and broccoli.” You could then find a recipe and ask your child, “What do you notice about the ingredients on the list?”

Once you have discussed an everyday example of noticing and wondering, ask students how they noticing and wonder in math class and when they use CueThink. Together, log into your child’s CueThink account. Go to the Understand phase. Read the question aloud and talk about what you notice and wonder. Remind students that they should focus on noticing and wondering about statements related to solving their project. Together, add to the list of “What do you notice?” and “What do you wonder about?”

Share Your Home/School Connection Stories

Let us know if you share these activities with your students and families! Email us, blog or tweet using the hashtag #makemathsocial. We’re always looking to share user stories on our blog. Contact Pamela Shwartz at pshwartz@cuethink.com to share a #makemathsocial blog, or set up an interview slot!