In our previous blog post, we showed how CueThink bridges the concepts and skills of Math with the soft skills needed to be a successful learner. "Using CASEL’s five SEL competencies, teachers can plan lessons that deepen content understanding and utilize the soft skills needed to become truly accomplished learners.” (CASEL, 2017)* *

In this second of two blog postings, we continue to explore the last three competencies: Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-making through the lens of CueThink’s four phases of problem-solving.

**Competency 3: Social Awareness**

CASEL defines social awareness as “effective participation in all educational activities, including Mathematics...to understand and observe important social norms of the class, recognize there are diverse approaches to the problem-solving, and understand that the approaches of others can help us identify new and improved strategies ourselves. Further, empathy and perspective-taking are critical skills when applying mathematical reasoning to real-world problems.” (CASEL, 2017 p.2)

**How CueThink Helps Build Student Social Awareness**

CueThink develops positive classroom norms around the process of problem-solving. Through the use of peer-to-peer interactions, students learn to have powerful conversations. This structure helps students take perspectives and ultimately leads to developing an understanding of others’ viewpoints.* *Having students review and annotate each other's thinklets can build greater awareness. Students can ask:

*What did I do well when I solved this problem?**What do I need to work on? Did I read my annotations?**How did others solve the problem? What can I use the next time?*

In CueThink, help students use the following social awareness strategies:

Display anchor charts with positive norms around math problem-solving

Use peer-to-peer learning through annotations as a means to explore different perspectives

Show students the embedded sentence prompts located in annotations to help prompt student responses

## 3-Part Annotations Guide

Statement | Specific Example | Question |
---|---|---|

I noticed... | Your... was... | How did you know...?
Could you explain more about..? Why did you decide...? |

I noticed you used a picture to help you solve the problem. | Your picture was of the 5 kids and you drew different colored lines to show who was shaking hands. | Could you explain more about how the picture helped you not double count handshakes? |

I noticed you double checked your work. | You double checked your work by making a table. | How did you know a table would help you double check? |

**Competency 4: Relationship Skills**

How success is defined in mathematics, as well as other academic areas, is based on how well you listen, ask questions, and seek help when you are stuck on a problem. Active learning and focusing on cooperative strategies are critical to school success. (CASEL, 2017 p.2)

**How CueThink Helps Build Student Relationship Skills**

CueThink tools support students in building relationship skills in a variety of ways throughout each of the four-phase process. As students work together, the classroom becomes an environment with a problem-solving focus based on relationship skills. Using sentence frames with language that fosters problem-solving conversation brings students’ understanding to a whole new level. This is how relationship skills are cultivated. Encourage students to ask:

*What kind of feedback did I give: was it a compliment or did I make a suggestion too?**Did I use exemplar thinklets to help extend my thinking?*

In CueThink, help students use the following relationship skills strategies:

Have students practice constructive feedback through the use of turn and talks

As a class, view an error containing thinklet to identify student’s thinking

Use math buddies as a way to foster working relationships

**Competency 5: Responsible Decision-making**

Becoming thoughtful decision makers is a critical part of becoming an effective learner. “Mathematics assumes that students will have the basic ability to evaluate options and make effective decisions to complete assignments.” (CASEL, 2017 p.2)

**How CueThink Helps Build Student Responsible Decision-making**

CueThink goes beyond math as a drill activity. Through interactions around problem-solving, students make decisions about how to solve and present a problem to others. The ability to ask questions and make decisions based on the answers is at the heart of this competency. Questions students can ponder include:

*How can I solve this problem?**What steps do I need to take?**What language will make the most sense?**How will the listener understand and make sense of my ideas?**How do I evaluate my process?*

In CueThink, help students use the following responsible decision-making strategies:

Model good decision making through the use of the four-phase process

Have students use Bloom’s Taxonomy sentence prompts to evaluate and set criteria for feedback

CueThink users: Don’t forget to use Community Forum within the CueThink application to add any ideas you might have! In Educator Mode go to Support>Community Forum and select the category, Classroom Tips to share your questions and activities.

If you don’t have an account, we encourage you to register for a free trial account and explore the product further.

**Interested in learning more? Join us for a live webinar about Social Emotional Learning in the Math Classroom on April 23 at 12pm, or April 25 at 9pm. Click the button below to register.**

**Works Cited**

“Core SEL Competencies.” *CASEL*, https://casel.org/what-is-sel/

“SEL in Elementary Math – CASEL District Resource Center.” *CASEL District Resource Center*, https://drc.casel.org/resources/sel-in-elementary-math/