Bring maths problem-solving to life with CueThink!
CueThink® is a leading educational technology brought to you from the USA. This problem-solving application methodology is based on Professor George Polya’s four phases of problem-solving: Understand, Plan, Solve, and Review. The phases encourage students to take the time to explain their thinking.
- What do you notice?
- What do you wonder about?
- What is your estimate?
- Choose a strategy, and
- Write a plan.
When they have created their solution, checklists help them review their maths and their recording.
Click below to watch a video!
Four phases of problem-solving
The CueThink application is based upon the research of George Pólya. Students are encouraged to follow the four phases of problem-solving the order, but there is also fluidity to move between the phases.
CueThink student examples
These student examples of Thinklets, created within CueThink, show how this tool is can be used to solve and share the same problem in different ways. Students are encouraged to understand the problem by noticing, wondering, and estimating. Students can choose the question they are going to answer. In these video examples, the student has chosen to answer the question, ‘How many gumballs did Charlie start with?’
In Thinklet example A, the student uses counters to create a visual model of the situation. Each pile of counters is labelled and the student creates a pile for each person named in the problem. While the student makes some mistakes, there is a lot of good reasoning. The teacher would not see that reasoning if they only saw the answer of 68 gumballs. In the annotation screen on the left, you can see that another student has pointed out one error: (‘Mum did not get any gumballs.’) and the student responds, ‘You're right, I'll fix that.’
In Thinklet example B, the student uses a number line as a visual representation, something more abstract than the images of counters used in Thinklet example A. There is no equation given, but the verbal reasoning in the video clearly explains the student’s thinking.
Portrait of a graduate white paper
This white paper, by Sam Rhodes PhD, discusses how regularly incorporating problem-solving in mathematics offers a gateway for teachers to meaningfully integrate 21st century skills, such as those captured by the Profile of a Graduate movement.