Thursday, October 25, 2012

Education Cubes

Ideas for Using Education Cubes

Since I shared about Education Cubes recently, I have received lots of messages about what other games I have made for them, or ideas I have. So here goes.... 

Shapes - These started with cards for just the simple shapes of circle, square, etc. However, there are a lot more shapes the children have drilled using these cubes. Each time some were introduced in their math we added more cards. We also talk about things like vertex, sides, edges, corners, perimeters...

Color Words - Learning to read the names of colors. We shake the cube, read the color and then the children locate something in the room of that color. Make it more difficult by not allowing repeats of items found.

Color Bears I found these cute bear cut-outs at a teacher store. The pack contained many different colors.

Alphabet - name letter or say sound, give its key word, name a word that starts with this letter, or name the letter that follows it in the alphabet

Alphabet Match - plays like bingo - match capital letter shook to small letter on card.

NOTE ABOUT BINGO: These BINGO ones are done in one of two ways. One way is to make bingo-like playing cards with the letters that are found on the cubes. We may be drilling a few or all of the letters. Each "bingo" card usually has about six matches to be found. The matches will all be on the same cube (for younger children) or on a variety of cubes for the older child.

Another way we do "Bingo" is to have 2 sets of cards. One set is placed in the cubes (for example: a stamped coin amount). The other set is the printed amounts (53 cents, $2.05, etc.) Each player is dealt some of the printed amounts. One cube is tossed, the amount read and the player with that amount turns it over or discards it.

Coin count - LOTS of different sets at different levels. These can be stamped using coin stamps, stickers, or pictures cut from a math workbook. (YES, I do cut up workbooks. Workbooks that are cut up are more useful than a stack of finished books.)

States/Capitals - one side has state, other capital so we can play either way. With older children, we are often racing to be the first one to give the correct response. We keep a tally score.

This one is easy to play with children of different levels. When I made this, Douglas was learning the capitals of the states. Charles was just learning the names/location of the states. So they took turns tossing the cube. Douglas had to name the capital of the state and Charles located it on a map. We kept no score as they were both learning these skills. But it was a fun way to drill.

Sentence/Fragment -  I didn't have to "think these up." I copied them out of a language workbook I had on the shelf. The child shook a cube, and decided if it was a fragment or complete sentence. We then could talk about what was missing from the group of words. Often after we had played awhile I gave them the assignment of finding 3 fragments and writing complete sentence using them.

Kinds of Sentences - These again could have been copied from a language workbook. However, sentences that use the children's names and incorporate activities from their lives are much more interesting to them. After identifying the type of sentence we talk about what kind of punctuation would be needed at the end (I left off the ending punctuation when I wrote the sentences).

Numbers 1-100 - read them, which is higher, lower (older children give sum or difference...or even multiply)

Days of Week - read name and say days of week starting with this one

Homonyms Read the word. Spell its homonym. Use them both in sentences or explain their meanings. Ask if there is another homonym.

Synonyms List as many words that mean nearly the same. Score a point for each good word. We give bonus points for exceptionally good words given.

Antonyms Name an opposite.

Contractions Spell the two words that make up the contraction....or do it the other way. Put two words on the cube cards and have the child spell the contraction.

Vowel Bingo Because vowels are such an important part of phonics we play lots of games until the children are very confident of their sounds. We start with just the short vowels.

Months Just like with the Days of the Week, we practice reading the names of the months, tell the next month, name the month that comes before, or say all the months beginning with this one.
Digits 0-9 - shake two (or more) cubes, make largest number possible, or smallest, read numbers- discuss place value.
C-V-C Words Bingo Have words like cat, bun, bit, etc. on the cube cards. Child(ren) can just read the words or match them to bingo playing cards.
Digital Times to Read - Having a variety of times to read, we also have a play clock and practice setting the hands to match.
Number Words
Measurement Equivalents Cards have equivalents to complete (examples: 3 feet = ___ yards, 1 foot = ___ inches, etc.) I also made a more advanced set like 2 feet + 6 inches = ___inches. Match it to the needs of the child.
Money Counting - Set of dollar stickers found at teacher's store. I arranged them in many different combinations for the child to count. You can find lots of good pictures of money to count in math workbooks.
Division Bingo Put division facts on the cube cards, and quotients on bingo cards.
Abeka short vowel blend By making your own cards, you are able to make cards that exactly match any curriculum you may use. We use ABeka for our phonics so I have lots of games that match that. Games give the children the much needed practice that is needed for a good phonics base.
Singular/Plurals The cube has a singular word, the child spells the plural. This is expecially good for those interesting plurals like mouse-mice. 
This is just a list to get you started. The education cubes are so much fun. They provide a no-pressure drill that so many skills need.
Have fun learning!
Mama Jenn first told me about these cubes. Check out her site for purchasing them. (Note: she shows two sets from Amazon - I purchased 5 of the cheaper sets and have been very pleased with them.) Also consider her membership. I have a membership, but mostly use it for ideas. However, some of the sets are definately worth printing if you want the pretty colors.)  I get color mostly by using a stack of precut cards I have cut from a variety of colors of card stock (it was a great way to use much of my smaller pieces from my scrapbooking and card making supply).

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