What Kind Of Teaching Is Expected From A Cuemath Teacher?

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Broadcast teaching, i.e. lectures don’t work well in teaching math. The main role of the teacher is to help students self discover, by using the Cuemath learning aids.  

WE ARE CALLED CUEMATH FOR A REASON


A key tenet in our philosophy is to never tell, but only Cue.

We are called Cuemath – because of the emphasis we place on Cue-ing. Cue-ing is the process of asking questions to guide the student to self discovery. When the student self discovers the answers they understand better and remember for longer. This is very different from the broadcast learning method in which a teacher delivers lectures.  

Cue-ing works better because the student is more engaged. They remember better because they use reasoning to arrive at an answer not just tactics or apply formulae.  When the student self discovers the answers they understand better and remember for longer.

CUE, DON’T TELL – NO BLACKBOARDS, NO LECTURES


Cuemath teachers are trained to teach very differently from the conventional teaching methods. Drawing from the name “Cuemath”, the teacher is expected to cue rather than tell. The teacher is expected to drive effort from a student so that they learn to reason and figure things out. This is the only way to learn math well. This is the only way that ensures consistent learning outcomes.

HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM SCHOOL?


Contrast this with what is referred to as the “blackboard method” used in school and tuition classes. Here the students learn via lectures, or videos or simply reading textbooks. This broadcast method is simply ineffective for mathematics for a number of reasons.

Drills Vs Reasoning : The blackboard method places inordinate emphasis on drills rather than understanding the reason well. Has detrimental impact on learning with time.

Jumping to Abstract Vs Starting Pictorially: In the blackboard method, the topics and concepts are introduced in abstract rather than visually. Visual and pictorial exercises help solidify the concept. To maximize learning all topics must be introduced visually.

Arbitrary Schedule Vs Self Paced : The blackboard method sets arbitrary schedule for topics eg. fractions must be done in 3 weeks. This one size fits all policy doesn’t work for mathematics. Some children would learn faster while others may take more time. Mastery can come only if learning is self paced.

Foundation vs Course Completion: Math is interconnected. When there is improper understanding or lack of mastery we need to stop and give the student the personalized attention to build a solid foundation. A focus on course completion will show up in lack of mastery as the concepts become tougher. The flaws may not show up immediately but will show up later, which is actually worse.   

Thus, no Cuemath class has a blackboard and the teacher is not expected to lecture students.

WHAT’S THE CUEMATH METHOD?


The Cuemath Method is the pedagogy that encourages children to learn by reasoning, in a fear free environment. The objective is to that maximizes learning outcomes for every hour spent. The Cuemath Method has 5 distinct principles.

Learning by Reasoning : Our goal is to build the ability to reason not just remember.

The right sequence to increases learning : Visual, Pictorial and Abstract is the sequence that maximizes learning. Topics are introduced in that sequence, always.

One on One interaction, No peer pressure: All interaction between the teacher and the student is one on one. This eliminates peer pressure, labeling and drives up effort of the child by making the class more enjoyable.   

Just the right level of Challenge: Ensuring the right level of challenge – commonly referred to as the Goldilocks zone – is key to ensuring effort from the child. Every student’s journey is constantly calibrated based on progress.

Never tell, Only cue: And finally teacher’s never tell the answer, they always cue. That is why our name is Cuemath.  By consistently cue-ing and not telling, the teachers develop the ability of the student to reason, arrive at answers independently and thus learn faster and learn better.

STUDENTS DRIVE THE LEARNING – TEACHERS ACT AS COACHES


Adaptive learning : At Cuemath students drive their own learning. This is referred to as adaptive learning. Students have their own set of Cuemath learning resources which include workbooks, customized tab-based exercises and puzzles calibrated to their difficulty level. As the students work their way through these resources, the most important role of the teacher is to maintain and encourage the effort in class.

Cue-ing Constantly :  By consistently cue-ing and not telling, the teacher develops the ability of the student to reason, arrive at answers independently and thus learn faster and learn better.

Build on prior knowledge : The Cuemath workbooks start off with questions and math problems based on a student’s prior knowledge. Thus without the need for elaborate teaching, the student starts solving questions. Then, they gradually ramp up the difficulty level in the workbook.

Start a concept with a Math Activity : When a new concept is introduced most often an activity is prescribed in the workbook. The teacher conducts the activity using the Math Box as prescribed in the book.  If a student has a doubt, or needs help, the teacher helps the student arrive at the answer by asking the right questions, by cueing – never telling. Both the Math Activity and the workbooks are designed to facilitate self-discovery.

CREATE CUSTOMIZED LEARNING PLANS WITH HELP FROM THE TEACHER APP


Diagnostic test : Another important role of the teacher is to create a customized learning plan based on a diagnostic test when the student enrols, and after enrolment. Then the plan is refined and updated based on the progress the student makes.

Weekly calibration : Every week a summary of performance, and the next steps are published for every student in the teacher app. This is based on performance on workbooks, assessments, aptitude games and puzzles.

Right level of Challenge : This constant calibration is critical. By providing the right level of challenge – often referred to as the Goldilocks zone – each student becomes better every day. A student could find one topic more challenging while finds another quite easy. So by calibrating the pace we can maximize the learning outcome.

Move Ahead : The teacher can alter the pace based on the student’s observed potential. Once the topics for the current grade are mastered, you as a teacher can simply move the student ahead to the next grade, with the concurrence of the parent.

LEAVE THE ‘ADMIN’ WORK TO US


Cuemath optimizes the time of the teacher by making sure that all admin responsibilities are taken care of by a dedicated teacher app (the Cueteacher app) so that the teacher’s time is dedicated to helping students learn and deliver learning outcomes. At all times, teachers also have access to mentors (buddy teachers) who help them and guide them with specific inputs.

It is this setup and tech support that has allowed the Cuemath teacher community to grow to 4000 teachers in 3 years.

THE CURRICULUM COMPLIANCE SCORE


Cuemath teachers will get a weekly update on their usage of the Cuemath tools and adherence to the Cuemath method.  This score is computed weekly and can be broken down to every student level. Every week the teacher will get feedback from Cuemath on steps to improve learning outcomes.  As can be inferred from the name, the score measures compliance to Cuemath standards. A score of 8 or more is good.

In summary,

1 Cuemath teacher cue the answers rather than simply telling them – a vital aspect of the Cuemath Method.
2 Teachers don’t give lectures or use the blackboard to broadcast learning. Instead help students figure concepts out though simple questions and explanations.
3 The drive student effort in class though asking the right questions, and providing motivation and encouragement
4 Create a customized learning plan for each child based on their observations and feedback from the teach app
5 Don’t spend time in admin work and focus on delivering learning outcomes.

  
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