Using Differentiated Instruction Cubes in the Secondary Classroom

Earlier this year, I wrote THIS POST about using these differentiated instruction cubes (from Carson Dellosa) in the classroom.  Over the past few days I've been working on card sets to slide into these cubes.  In order for them to be a valuable resource for me, I need to have the cards printed in advance to make it easier to use during the busy school year.  And as you can see in the top left picture, it is really easy to punch a hole in the corner and store them all on a ring.  Stay tuned for the FREEBIE....
These are great for quick formative assessments of both small groups and individuals.  What I love most is that it will get kids talking.  If a student rolls the dice and answers something incorrectly, the group can discuss what they think the correct answer is.  (Of course, you'd have to model to your students HOW they should go about discussing the correct answer without making the group member that got it wrong feel horrible.)

And who cares if more than one student in the group rolls the same discussion topic!    Especially for some of your lower level students, SpEd students, or English Language Learners - it would be great to have another student model how the question should be answered and then the "challenged learner/speaker" has their own opportunity to answer.  On many of the topics, students may want to add/embellish upon the previous answer that was given (which I also love).  These are all things that should be discussed as a class so that they will know how you want them to react to any situation that arises (such as a topic being rolled more than once.)

Bottom one should get away with not having to talk at all.  And research shows that the less "teacher talk" there is, the better.  We've all got to find ways to get our students talking.  Give the kids these discussion topics during the last 5 minutes of class and move around the room, facilitating group discussions.  You will be amazed at the retention your students will have when they are given the opportunity to reflect upon their learning and verbalize it with their peers.

There are a variety of ways these could be used.

  • Exit Tickets
  • Review
  • Group discussion
  • Formative assessments
  • Quizzes
  • Quick/informal checks for understanding
  • Journaling
  • Task cards
  • A fun alternative to working out practice/mathematical problems on a worksheet
  • Warm-Ups
  • Graph reading
  • Data interpretation
  • Random selection for instruction methods (have a variety of instructional methods/stations for students to complete...roll the dice to see which one(s) the student will complete)
  • This list goes on...

CLICK HERE for my set of Grade 8 differentiated instruction cube questions.  Just print, slide into the cube pockets, and start the convos, my friends!

Do you use these in another way for your classroom?  Please feel free to share ideas below.

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