Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why we LOVE cube games! and a FREEBIE!!

Happy February everyone!! Kelly and Kim here with you again to tell you about cube games in our kindergarten classrooms and why we love them (for a variety of grade levels)! We have a cube game for almost every theme we teach and when we bring them out for a lesson the children cheer! Actually cheer! That is a win in any book!
There are so many reasons we love cube games! We want to share those with you today and we hope you see how valuable they can be in your class also! Our reasons are in no particular order! ;)

Reason #1: Team Work
We love to see the children working together and helping each other out. We establish rules for group work in the beginning of the school year and continue to work on them throughout the school year. Children should always listen to each other, be respectful when others are speaking, help each other when needed, give each other encouraging words, and take turns. When playing cube games, we ask for everyone in the group to put a tally mark on their paper for EVERY roll of the cube, not just their own. This helps to ensure they are listening to each other and that they are helping each other along the way. Some of the children still struggle with tally marks, so the others are there to help when needed.

Reason #2: Vocabulary Development
We use these cubes during almost every theme throughout the school year. They help children develop vocabulary skills for new words that they have been introduced to. For example: during rainforest children learn about boa constrictors and blue morpho butterflies. These are animals that most children haven't heard of before, so they get to build their use of the words when they roll these pictures during cube games.

Reason #3: Speaking in Complete Sentences
Teaching children to talk in complete sentences is a daunting task. Children and adults like to answer questions with a one or two word response. This becomes a roadblock when learning to write, so we are always encouraging our children to speak in complete sentences. Playing a cube game is no exception. When a child rolls the cube, instead of stating the picture that the cube lands on, children are encouraged to say in a complete sentence: "I rolled boa constrictor." Not only are they speaking in complete sentences, but they are also informing the rest of their group of the picture rolled so they can put their tally mark in the correct place.

Reason #4: Making Tally Marks
We love tally marks in kindergarten! We use them while recording the weather every day, we use them for addition, we use them for taking polls, the list goes on and on. The children like them because they like when we cross a group to make five! It's the little things!

Reason #5: Developing Number Sense
Counting, numeral recognition, and comparing sets are important skills for all children and these cube games give students lots of fun practice in these areas too! Children count their tally marks as the game is played, they are constantly saying things like, "These ones are tied!" or "The sloth has more than the tree frog!" When we total up their tally marks and graph their data they are counting again and recognizing and writing numerals too.

Reason #6: Graphing
After the game is finished, children graph their data independently to show how many times each object was rolled. They learn to show their data in a new way and even answer questions to interpret their graph. They practice more, less, equal, adding, and finding difference when comparing sets on a bar graph.

Reason #7: The Children LOVE Them!
"I like giving the cube to people."
"That you get to play with your friends."
"I like taking turns."
"I like coloring in the graph.

"I like making tally marks."

"I like rolling the dice."

Good news! We have a freebie for you! This is a brand new cube game we added to our store today! We hope you enjoy it! You can get it here.

We are also super excited to have put all of our cube games into one big bundle! We have many different themes included in this bundle, but if you see something you want that we didn't think to add, let us know and we would be happy to make it for you! You can check them out here

Thank you for hanging out with us today and reading about our love of cube games!
We hope you and your students will fall in love with them too!