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Differentiated Strategy 101: Cubing a Lesson


Barbara Ewing Cockroft, M.Ed. NBCT, presenter Visit: http://www.cdeducation.org/ocea/handouts/39%20-%20Differentiation%20Strategy%20101-%20Cubing%20a%20Lesson/ – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Differentiated Strategy 101: Cubing a Lesson

Differentiated Strategy 101 Cubing a Lesson
  • Barbara Ewing Cockroft, M.Ed. NBCT, presenter
  • Visit http//www.cdeducation.org/ocea/handouts/39
  • For more activities and lessons using cubing

  • Be not afraid of going slowly. Be only afraid of
    standing still. -Bertie Kingore

What Is Cubing?
  • A technique that helps students consider a
    subject from six points of view
  • Different commands or tasks appear on each side
    of a cube

What Is Cubing? (continued)
  • Cubes may vary with commands or tasks appropriate
    to the level of readiness of the group.
  • Cubes may also be constructed with tasks relating
    to different areas of intelligence, such as
    verbal/linguistic or bodily/kinesthetic.

What Is Cubing? (continued)
  • In its most sophisticated form, it is a technique
    that helps students think at different levels of
    Blooms taxonomy.

Cubing Tied to Blooms Taxonomy
  • 4. Analysis
  • How many elements are present?
  • 5. Synthesis
  • Combining Change to a new scenario.
  • 6. Evaluation
  • Rating Rank solutions in priority order.
  • 1. Knowledge
  • Recall What is this about?
  • 2.Comprehension
  • Understanding Why did this happen?
  • 3. Application
  • Transfer Use the information to predict.

Examples of Cubing Statements
  • Describe It. Look at the subject closely, perhaps
    with your physical senses as well as your mind.
  • Compare It. What is it similar to? What is it
    different from?
  • Associate It. What does it make you think of?
    What comes to your mind when you think of it?
    People? Places? Things? Feelings? Let your mind
    go and see what feelings you have for the subject.

Examples of Cubing Statements (continued)
  • Analyze It. Tell how it is made. What are its
    traits and attributes?
  • Apply It. Tell what you can do with it. How can
    it be used?
  • Argue For or Against It. Take a stance. Use any
    kind of reasoning you want logical, silly,
    anywhere in between.

Why Do We Use Cubes?
  • To differentiate learning by readiness
    (familiarity with content or skill level)
  • To differentiate learning by interest

Why We Use Cubes
  • To differentiate learning by student learning
    profile (visual, auditory, kinesthetic multiple
  • To add an element of novelty to classroom

Getting Started
  • Step 1. Identify the general concepts, skills
    and content, aligned with the state standards,
    that will be the focus of the activity as it
    pertains to different learners.
  • What do you want your students to know,
    understand, and be able to do?

Getting Started (continued)
  • Step 2. Provide extended opportunities,
    materials, and learning situations that are
    appropriate for a wide range of readiness,
    interests, and learning styles.
  • Does what you are teaching align with your short
    and long-term goals?

Getting Started, continued
  • Step 3. Pre-assess student readiness, interest,
    or learning style!
  • Group students according to their readiness, with
    different colored cubes or task cards that match
    students level of understanding and ability

Getting Started (continued)
  • Step 4. Make sure the students understand the
    verbs and directions for each task.
  • Offer choices!

Getting Started (continued)
  • Step 5. Students complete the tasks according to
    the directions.
  • Allow sufficient time.
  • Ask one or two students from each group to share
    their groups findings/project/task with the

Helpful Hints
  • Design the task cards to look basically the same
    among all of the groups.
  • Use the cubing technique sparingly, so that the
    novelty does not wear off.
  • Coordinate cubing activities with other teachers
    if you are in a team-teaching situation.

Helpful Hints (continued)
  • Use colored paper to indicate various interests
    or learning styles (not readiness-based
  • Students begin by sitting with other students
    using cubes of the same color.

Helpful Hints (continued)
  • If the first roll is an activity that the student
    does not want to do, a second roll is allowed.
  • After students have worked on their activity
    individually, have them come together in groups
    to synthesize.

Variations on Cubing
  • 1. Number the list of tasks to be completed.
    Roll the die to select the item on the list to
  • 2. Write each task on a tongue depressor and
    let students select one.

Variations (continued)
  • 3. Incorporate learning styles in the cubed
    activity, such as visual/spatial
    bodily/kinesthetic, etc.
  • 4. Design a cube for reading nonfiction (Who?
    What? When? Where? Why? How?) especially
    powerful in content areas.

Helpful Tools
  • Knowledge - factual answers, recognition, testing
  • Process Words who, how why, what, tell, know,
    where, name, label, omit, when, list, define,
    select, choose, specify, match, record, identify,
    numerate, describe, recount, memorize, recall
  • Products/Outcomes list, definition,
    recitation, lecture, worksheet, chart, facts

  • Comprehension - translating, interpreting,
  • Process Words cite, tell, infer, report, show,
    explain, identify, locate, discuss, classify,
    describe, indicate, translate, recognize,
    summarize, paraphrase
  • Products/Outcomes summary, discussion,
    explanation, report, review, puzzle, game, lesson

  • Application - to situations that are new,
    unfamiliar, or have a new slant apply rules,
    laws methods, theories
  • Process Words use, solve, select, teach, show,
    collect, relate, explain, transfer, exhibit,
    predict, informs, practice, classify, compute,
    illustrate, determine, produce, establish,
    develop, simulate, experiment, demonstrate,
    discover, dramatize
  • Products/Outcomes map, model, diagram,
    illustration, interview, experiment, drawing,
    collection, chart, timeline, mobile

  • Analysis - breaking down into parts, forms
    identifying motives or causes, making inferences,
    finding evidence to support generalizations
    clarifying, concluding
  • Process Words probe, survey, dissect, outline,
    contrast, identify, compare, examine, discover,
    organize, correlate, illustrate, prioritize,
    combine, separate, diagram, differentiate,
    distinguish, categorize, investigate, subdivide
  • Products/Outcomes graph, diagram, survey,
    questionnaire, plan, research paper, outline,
    attributes, goals/objectives, chart, mind map

  • Synthesis - combining elements into a pattern not
    clearly there before, ability to put parts
    together to form a new whole
  • Process Words make, plan, adapt, invent,
    create, develop, translate, design, initiate,
    generate, make up, compose, propose, predict,
    integrate, originate, rearrange, assemble,
    collaborate, categorize, hypothesize, formulate,
  • Products/Outcomes song, play, newspaper, film,
    mural, story, advertisement, poem, invention,
    formula, solution, art product

  • Evaluation - evaluate according to some set of
    criteria and state why ability to judge value
    for purpose judging the value of something
  • Process Words rate, judge, revise, choose,
    critique, defend, justify, decide, assess,
    contrast, support, compare, criticize, support,
    validate, determine, recommend, appraise,
    conclude, interpret
  • Products/Outcomes panel, discussion, judgment,
    evaluation, opinion, editorial, verdict, rating
    scale, debate, court trial, ranking

Examples (refer to this website
  • Grade 3 Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes task card
  • Grades 6-8 Task cards to correspond to The
    Outsiders (easy and difficult readiness levels)
  • Grades 6-8 Revising cube (easy and difficult
    readiness levels)
  • Grade 10 Stereotyping (English or Social Studies)

Social Studies Level 1
For a blank template of a cube, visit
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