Monday, August 24, 2009

Kagan's Learning Cubes

Learning cubes are a different way to approach some of the questions that you may already be asking in class.

I was very excited when these learning cubes arrived. There are a wide variety of topics offered, but I chose the Lesson Launcher, Lesson Wrap-up, and Reading Comprehension cubes for this review. I am using these with 2nd graders and would not recommend going lower than that.

I found that the cubes could be used in multiple ways- centers, small group work, and even in whole group work. Using the cubes with the students was more interesting to them than just standing at the front of the room and asking them questions. They were excited with the anticipation of what the next question would be.

Also, they are a soft foam material. This keeps the noise down when there are several students or groups using them. Unless punctured with a sharp object, the cubes should last a while.

Lesson Launcher:
The Lesson Launcher cube has prediction questions, KWL style questions, and personal interest in the lesson questions. I found all of these questions relevent in that it meets the reading standards in Arizona. Just by using the cubes to introduce a new reading lesson or story I have covered several standards. Plus, it only takes a few minutes.

Lesson Wrap-up:
Over and over again at workshops, we are told you need to have your students tell or think about what they have learned in a lesson to ensure better retension of the knowledge. These cubes are a great way to do it quickly. There are several questions linking the knowledge learned to the student and his/her previous knowledge as well as how the student would reteach it and how they will remember it. Again, it only takes a few minutes to do. The language is low enough for about 2nd grade and up. This cube also meets some state standard.

Reading Comprehension:
The vocabulary used on this cube is a little harder and should be used with 3rd grade (maybe later 2nd grade) and up. It also makes use of Bloom's Taxonomy with words such as brainstorm. The reading comprehension can be used for fiction or nonfiction, which is great for consistent use with students (meaning they can be used with every reading).

Overall, I really like the cubes. They are quick, easy, and can be used frequently without a hassle.

*Learning Cubes were provided by Kagan for review, no money was exchanged as a result (please see terms of use).

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