Cubes for Printing and Learning
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What Are Learning Cubes?
Cubes have multiple uses. They can be scaled down to create your own dice (die).
They can be used in language arts classes to create discussion points. For example, the teacher may cover the sides with terms like characters, climax, etc., and roll the die or ask a student to do so. The student or class then discusses the term in relation to the story being read.
Cubes can be used as writing exercises to prepare students for standardized tests. For example, a teacher can list the six primary sorts of standardized test questions on the sides of the cube (or instruct the students to do so). These might be things like: "Compare/Contrast" and "Describe."
The teacher then gives the students a topic; used at the start of the year, a great topic is simply the school itself. On the "Compare/Contrast" side of the cube, the student will be asked to compare and contrast her or his current school with schools previously attended. Under "Describe" the student might be asked to list three or four attributes of the current school.
The point of the exercise is to give students an idea of what they are expected to write when they see such terms in essay questions. A teacher may even allow students to use the cubes as reference during the first test(s) of the semester.
One version of the cube below already has the most common essay question starters printed on it. Using this cube, the teacher will distribute the cube sheets (printed on card stock) and discuss with students what each term or phrase is asking. For example, if your state's proficiency test expects "compare and contrast" essays to contain two things that are the same and two things that are different, you would ask the students to write this in their own words on their cubes. Just like in the example above, once the cubes are filled in and assembled, you can let the students use them for the first writing assignments and tests of the year. Use them until you notice that the kids no longer need to reference the cubes in order to understand the terms.
Items for Printing
Cube with Most Common Standardized Testing Terms: You may have the students fill in each side of the cube with their own tips on how to answer questions with these terms.
Blank Cube: Cover the sides of this cube with whatever you want. Examples include parts of speech, types of math problems, and the like. Get creative! Alternate blank cube template here.
It is strongly recommended that cubes be printed on cardstock to ensure strength and durability.