S'Cool Tools, Teacher Voice Edition: CueThink, Kids Discover Online

S'Cool Tools, Teacher Voice Edition: CueThink, Kids Discover Online

This week in S’Cool Tools, we share the real experiences of three teachers using three different tools, written in their own words. If you’d like to be featured in our S’Cool Tools column, click here to leave your very own Teacher Case Study.


Written by Theodora, a 5th grade teacher from California. Theodora has a 1:1 device environment and uses project-based learning.

EdSurge: What was the problem in your classroom or school that you were trying to solve when you implemented CueThink?

Theodora: I was looking for the next step in using CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction for Math) with technology. Daily, I would have several students share out strategies to the classroom but time would not allow me to hear all 32 students share out. Furthermore, my students were using Padlet to showcase work but I wanted them to be able to comment on peer work. I feel strongly that in order to truly understand what they are doing in math they need to be able to verbalize how they solve things.

Describe how you used the product

CueThink allows me view the students work as they are working through the problem and after they submit. I am able to use CGI word problems I have created for my students and post it as a Thinklet for students to work through. I can see all their steps: understand, plan, solve, review; in an easy to see screen. I have 1:1 iPads in my Fifth Grade classroom and CueThink has an App that the students use. I have my students work through the problem, record their thinking, and then go back to Annotate on other student work. I am able to view, annotate, and encourage students within CueThink. They also have frames for strategies the students would use, the tools are easy to use, and they can edit work even after submission if they find they need to revise their thinking. Amazing!

What worked and what didn’t?

CueThink has changed the way I see my student work. I am able to give them encouragement and support on a daily basis and provide feedback. What's really amazing is my students are able to Annotate on peer work. I require that each student annotate on five student's Thinklets. Each student then will receive five Annotation comments daily from their peers. It is incredibly valuable to them as they take their peers words very seriously. All of these skills to use CueThink were developed over time. They have become very skilled at using CueThink. From the beginning of the year till now they have learned to express themselves as mathematicians and annotate with thoughtfulness.

Kids Discover Online

Written by Darren, a 6th grade teacher from California.

EdSurge: What was the problem in your classroom or school that you were trying to solve when you implemented Kids Discover Online?

Darren: I wanted to integrate STEM into my social studies classroom, so that when kids are learning about history and the pioneers of science, technology, engineering, and math, they are learning about those subjects simultaneously and forming natural connections.

Describe how you used the product

I used the science and social studies curriculum from Kids Discover to make the connection between social studies and STEM throughout the school year. When students select a social studies topic online, they immediately see many articles related to that topic and additional science content. Recently I had my students reading about Ancient Rome. As they were reading online, they found information relating to the Romans’ building techniques. Following their research, we had an engaging discussion on their aqueducts and how and why they worked. My favorite moments are when students make these types of connections between social studies and science on their own. Another time where I engaged my students in both STEM and social studies was during a unit on ancient Egypt. One of my students noticed that the early Egyptian society started around the Nile River and made the connection to Mesopotamian society starting around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. As a class, we were then able to make connections between the importance of rivers and the development of early civilizations. As a follow up activity, my students researched and discussed the science behind what rivers do that would be beneficial to a new civilization.

What worked and what didn’t?

Student choice is an important part of my teaching, so I appreciated how students could explore the curriculum on their own and bring their discoveries back to the whole group. I believe students have more buy-in to the lesson when they have choices about what they learn and how they provide evidence of their learning. Textbooks are “boring” according to many students; I would rather give them a choice of articles that are fairly short and concise. It helps that the articles are also leveled based on ability as well as visually appealing, with photos, maps, or illustrations.

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