Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Vocabulary Question Cube

I have so much fun with my students when I put an iPad in their hands! They are actually very good at anything to do with Technology. This is great since the Common Core Standards have interacting with technology as a major strand.  I love taking pictures, but my students are the best when it comes to putting their thinking into power points and videos. This is a lesson using the Vocabulary Question Cube. I let them video themselves playing the game. We can spend three to five days on a lesson with everything that is involved.

This is a quicktime video made by 4th grade students. They are on the carpet, with their words and finished cubes. Now they roll the cube and ask each other questions using the words they wrote and defined. Because these are new words, this gives them more practice using the words in sentences and just saying the words. 

I used one of the products I have on my Teachers Pay Teachers Store, the Vocabulary Question Cube. This product is aligned with the CCSS ELA L.3.4d, L.4.4c, L.5.4c.
Vocabulary Question Cube - Comprehension 
I love this little comprehension, question game and my students love it also. The first thing I did was give them a passage (4th grade) or text (The Odyssey, 5th grade.) In 4th I wanted them to practice some of the "testlets" with questions. Mostly these are so boring for students, but this is how they are tested on the EOG so they need to practice! Why not make it fun!
5th Grade with Odyssey and Workbook.

5th Grade Looking Up Vocabulary Words or New Words!
I gave each student an orange post-it note so they could write down 6-8 words while reading that they thought were interesting or that maybe they didn't really know the meaning. Each student had a dictionary so they didn't have to wait for someone else to finish and they could look the word up immediately. Yes, I still use workbooks when I can, I just add a little fun to them!
4th Grade Reading Passages.
4th grader using highlighter.
My 4th grade students needed practice finding the main idea, inference, supporting details and other elements of text. I found these great comprehension books that are common core aligned. Notice that I write notes to my students before copying so they know exactly what they will be doing with the packets. We go over our answers at the end and students make corrections and we discuss WHY the answer is right. I don't have them put Xs on the ones they have wrong, they just erase and put the right one after we discuss it. I encourage my students to voice their opinions and why they thought their answer was right. Sometimes they make very good points and they really should get some credit! With only 3 or 4 questions per passage, it doesn't take long and my students get to discuss the reasoning behind the questions.
4th grade - after finding the words, they glue the I Can statement in their notebooks, and write the word, definition, illustration, sentence and part of speech. We call these notebooks our Vocabulary Word Notebooks. I have used this for years and love them. Nothing like color to keep students interested.
4th grade - You can see the I Can Statement better in this picture. This student loves to illustrate her words!

Some students take great pains in coloring their cubes!

The last day we use the Vocabulary Question Cubes. We have to make them about 3 times a year since they are paper and get messy after being used so many times. After about the 3rd time, (you can see from the picture above,) students really get creative in their coloring!
They might be discussing their words or the story while coloring, but they have to keep their discussion on literacy. Sometimes I will put out recorders on the tables to make sure they follow this.
Finished product and ready to play!

You do not have to "play" a game with these cubes. They can be used as an exit ticket at the end of a class. I have also had students use these independently with whisper phones so they can hear themselves say the word and see if they remember the definition. These are great for buddies to use during literacy centers. Let me know any ideas you have for how these can be used!

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Thanks for reading. I am officially on Spring Break! I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter and Spring Break!

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  1. Your blog is so stinkin' cute! I came by after your sweet comment on my blog post about FB tips :) I'm your newest follower!

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  2. A million thanks... coming from you I just think that is the best compliment I can get! Thanks for following me. I have been a follower of your for the longest time! Putting a blog together is a journey! Collaborating with teachers is the best part though. Thanks Miss T! And thanks for your tips! Pam

    Very cool! Thanks so much for sharing this.
    -Mr. Hughes
    An Educator's Life

  4. Thanks Mr. Hughes! I wish I had had this ready for your Freebie Give Away! That is so awesome! Thanks for the visit! Pam

  5. Pam, I'm so glad to find your blog! I haven't run into many other fourth grade blogs. I LOVE all of your picts! We are working on many of the same reading skills. Glad we'll be navigating the blogging world together! :) The Learning Lab

  6. Stacey, thanks so much for your visit! Thanks for all the nice compliments! I am so glad you stopped by. I plan to pay a visit to you this morning. It will be nice to have another 4th grade class to blog with! Pam

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  8. Hey Pam!! You are so creative!! I just stopped by to let you know that I featured your product in my Friday Five... you can come check it out!! Thank you so much for using my graphics and for pinning on the collaborative board!! You rock!!

    The 3AM Teacher
    Visit My FB Page

  9. Michelle, I just spent about 30 minutes over on your blog! That video is amazing! Also, thanks for showcasing my Crunchin' Numbers products! I love your graphics. I just bought the Shop Till You Drop and Sandwich sets. What cute, cute graphics. You make learning fun!
    Thanks, Pam

  10. Ohhh, I love this idea!! What a great, interactive tool for students to use when studying language arts. I found your blog from being featured over at Michelle's blog, The 3AM Teacher. I love the resource you created and am SO excited to explore more of your blog now that I've found ya! :)

    Miss V's Busy Bees

  11. Thanks for stopping by Sara! Isn't Michelle great to feature different teachers! I love that video she put up. I put it on Edmodo for my students to see what lower elementary students are doing with technology.
    I have to thank The 3am Teacher ! I can't wait to go visit your blog! This is such a nice way to meet new friends.

    Visit me at Teaching By The Sea

  12. Hi Pam! I love your vocabulary question cubes. Such a GREAT idea! Vocabulary is so important! Your pictures are great!


    My Journey in Education

  13. Hi Andrea.... so you can tell I love pictures! LOL I love taking pictures of my students' work and of them. They are so adorable. I wish I could post their sweet faces! I am so glad you like the Voc Cube. I also think Vocabulary is so important. Especially for my ESL students. Thanks for visiting. I am off to visit your blog now! Pam

  14. Hi Pam, thanks for the great post! Next term (I'm in New Zealand so we're just about to finish the first term of the year) I'm planning on doing a HEAP of work on vocab with my kids (I teach year six which is equivalent to fifth grade). I think I will be adopting your vocab cubes!

    x Serena x
    Magic Mistakes & Mayhem

    P.S. Your kid's are great little drawers!

  15. Thanks so much Serena for stopping by! Vocabulary is really a big thing in my room because of my Spanish speaking students. My students love to color... I always tell them everything looks better in color! They have really gotten into the drawing part this year. Enjoy New Zealand! It must be wonderful living over there. Pam

  16. I love the vocabulary cube, what a cute idea. Thanks for sharing. I'm a new follower!
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  17. Thanks so much Bethany for visiting! My 4th and 5th graders loved making the cube! Look for another cube coming up that is geared towards the lower grades. I am heading over to your blog for a visit! Pam

  18. Hi Pam,

    I found you through a link from your TpT Store. I love your vocabulary question cube activity. What a great idea! I shared a link to it in my post today. I'm a new follower!

    Read With Me ABC

  19. Hi, I thought you had some great ideas. How do you fold back the notebook paper to write your vocab word and definitions? Do you use two pages?

    What workbooks did you use for the reading passages?


  20. Hi Daisy! I only use one page for the fold, the second page is where you see the pictures drawn. If you are looking down at the right side of the paper, Just take that page and fold it back to the red line. You are now looking at what was the back of the paper. Does that make sense?
    Then what was the back side, becomes the front where you put the vocabulary word names. The "second" page is used for pictures or other explanations.
    I hope that helps. I might do a little uTube Video showing how this is put together if it will help. Pam