A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Can Do Cubes

Part of what makes learning fun is when it can be hands on!  Such is the case with today's review product, Can Do Cubes, from jollyliteracy.com (just2ducks LLC).

When our Can Do Cubes arrived, I was impressed by the large box of wooden cubes and curriculum resources.

This shows the first tray.  The cubes themselves are made of wood, and feel good in your hands.

This is the second tray of cubes, part of the "stage two" part of the program.  See the string?  Those two cubes are attached to teach the concept of silent e.  (One of the videos addresses this, and I thought it was brilliant.)

The box included two posters with the various words you could make from each group of cubes.  We're out of wall space in our school room, so I considered cutting this up and laminating it by section, but ultimately, we simply unfold it when we do a section.

When we started out, I gave Katie the first 6 cubes and let her play with them a little bit.  Then I'd read a word from the poster and ask her to build it for me.

This is similar to how she started doing spelling last year, so it was familiar to her.

Between the two trays of blocks, in addition to the posters, there were two small books.  These are books for the parent teacher, not the child.

Book one explains how children learn language, and gives lots of fun and easy suggestions on ways to engage your child with the world around them.  It offers tips on teaching beginning phonics to your child.  The stage two book gives specific teaching tips for how to use the lower tray of cubes in teaching the more advanced phonics lessons.

The top CD ROM contains 4 workbooks with both instructions for the teacher and many printable pages for your student to use with the blocks.

The bottom disc is a DVD which talks about the word version of the Can Do Cubes (which I ended up purchasing a set of; I can't wait to try those out with Jack and Hannah!) for the first 6 minutes, and then another 6 minutes featuring an instructor working with a child on the phonics cubes.  After that is a segment featuring the instructor saying each of the 42 sounds of the English language.  This would be helpful for an older student (remedial or ESL) to view to help them learn the sounds and the letters at the same time.  Then there's an explanation of the idea of synthetic phonics and where that name comes from and how to use the cubes to teach.  I found the video clips to be brief, informative, and helpful.

Katie likes doing the printable worksheets with the blocks.

I like being able to print off just the pages that we need from the CD.

One of the nice things about Can Do Cubes is that it can be used on it's own, or as a compliment to any other phonics or spelling program.  Kids like to play with these cubes.  They add a hands on component that holds a child's interest.  When I leave them out in the school room, I find words and sentences that my kids of all ages create.  Imagine the difference between telling your student, "Write this list of spelling words," and "Build each of your spelling words with these cubes."  Which one do you think they'll be more excited about?  I'm thrilled to add this resource to our classroom, and I'm sure I'll be pulling it out regularly for a long time to come.

You can connect with Can Do Cubes/Jolly Literacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Forty Crew families received the phonics Can Do Cubes.  To read the rest of the reviews, please click the box below.

Can Do Cubes

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  1. Sounds wonderful! My son would love this. Will way till he starts with long vowels. Thanks for sharing at Practical Mondays :)

    1. We ended up liking these so much I invested in the word cubes, too. We're having fun making silly sentences with them. :)