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Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Tech It Up Tuesday: Synthesize Learning with the Cube Creator


Tech It Up TuesdayHappy Tuesday, edtech fans! Yeah, I realize we’re about 72 hours from having a TGIF moment, but the good news is you have three days left in the week to incorporate this super cool tool into classroom activities!

So, here it is: The next time you need an engaging prewriting or postreading activity for your students, then be sure to check out the Cube Creator from ReadWriteThink, an interactive that provides students with a visual organizer to summarize information in one of the following categories:

» Bio Cube: This option allows students to develop an outline of a person whose biography or autobiography they have just read. It can also be used before students write their own autobiography. Specific prompts ask them to describe a person’s significance, background, and personality.

» Mystery Cube: Use this option to help your students sort out the clues in their favorite mysteries and/or develop outlines for their own stories. Among its multiple applications, the Mystery Cube helps students identify mystery elements, practice using vocabulary from this popular genre, and sort and summarize information. Specific prompts ask students to describe the setting, clues, crime or mystery, victim, detective, and solution.

» Story Cube: In this cube option, students can summarize the key narrative elements in a story, including character, setting, conflict, resolution, and theme. Students can even identify their favorite part of the story.

» Create-Your-Own Cube: Working on a science unit? Doing some research on volcanoes? Then Create-Your-Own Cube is the answer! This version allows teachers and students to generate their own questions or topics and/or customize cubes on topics of their choosing.

Check out a sneak peek of this nifty interactive shown below.

A “Planning Sheet” accompanies each Cube Creator template. Since space is limited on the cube, students can utilize this chart to organize and summarize information prior to completing the online activity.

As students respond to prompts on each side of the cube, a fun-shaped, organized chart of information is generated. Once complete, the finished cube can saved, printed and folded into a tangible representation of the topic—one that can be shared with others!

Classroom Connection: 

Unlike traditional prewriting and postreading web or charts, the Cube Creator is a fun and visually engaging tool to use.  Besides requiring the students to identify key elements, this activity challenges them to create a comprehensive summary of their topic.

Lesson ideas for integrating the Cube Creator interactive into the elementary, middle and high school classroom can be found here.

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

Be sure to add this awesome tool to your tech-box!

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