In our homeschool, we use a lot of supplemental resources and activities to help my kids really get the concepts they’ve been taught. A few weeks ago, just2ducks LLC sent us a set of Can Do Cubes, which can be purchased at jollyliteracy.com. This is a great supplemental resource to help teach students their spelling words, phonetic sounds, blending, and more in a very tactile/kinesthetic way.
As you can see from the picture, the set includes SO much more than JUST the Can Do Cubes.
The following was included in the set, which we received:
- Student Tray (contains numbered cubes for Stage One)
- Stage One Instruction Booklet
- Interactive DVD, which includes Debbie Hepplewhite sounding out all of the 44 sounds that make up the English language. It also includes a discussion about the how and why of synthetic phonics.
- “At-a-glance” word charts for Stage One
- Student Tray (contains numbered cubes for Stage Two)
- Stage Two Instruction booklet
- CD containing a Teacher’s Guide and Template Book (by Laurie Fyke)
- Synthetic phonics overview chart
If you are wanting to use this resource in the most complete and comprehensive way, I definitely recommend diving right in to all of the teacher resources that are included. The CD-Rom and DVD are super helpful in understand the hows and whys of the whole thing. It was a little overwhelming when I first opened this, but after looking through those materials, I was a lot more understanding and it wasn’t so scary anymore. 🙂
This is the Can Do Cubes for synthetic phonics by Debbie Hepplewhite. You can see (and hear) her sound out the phonics below:
This system is easily adapted to your student’s current curriculum. We used it to reinforce the words and ideas covered in our regular language arts lessons for my 6th grader and 4th grader. The cubes were awesome for my older students because they are still quite tactile, and I have found that so many curricula sort of drop that component and go to more typing or writing. That doesn’t hit all of the learning styles!
My kids are getting older, but they are still learning. Having that extra dimension helps a LOT to retain spelling words, and helps them to work through phonics that they encounter, even at the higher levels.
I used Stage One with my 6 year old and his word lists from Jolly Grammar, which worked really well. This was just another way for him to understand the exact sounds, as well as see and FEEL the cubes to help with his memory of them as well.
I really liked the word charts. They were helpful for me, because they tell you at a glance which cubes students should be grabbing for to form each of the words, too. The charts had a few extra teaching tips on there to help out, as well.
My kids liked working with this new resource. We’ve used letter tiles in the past, but these cubes were even more fun for them than that, because they got to hold a 3 dimensional object, hunt and find the letters they wanted, and also work on sounds and spellings. It made all three of my school-aged students think, and it seemed more fun to them than just writing it or reciting things out loud to me.
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