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Aug 26, 2016

Can Do Cubes TOS Review

Not your Grandma's ABC blocks!

Earlier this week, I told you about just2ducks LLC's Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar.  I plan to continue using those with Merrick for the foreseeable future.  I was so excited to receive's companion product, Can Do Cubes.  While the Can Do Cubes complement Jolly Phonics nicely, we've found that they can be used alongside any phonics, spelling, or reading program you have.

Can Do Cubes come in a box with labeled dividers, making it easy to find exactly the cubes you are looking for.  Well, provided your four year old isn't putting them away!  There are two levels included, beginning with the Stage One: Simple Alphabetic Code cubes.  This level has 27 six-sided blocks with letters that represent the 44 basic phonemes of the English language.  Stage Two covers the Complex Alphabetic Code, which includes spelling variations for the 44 sounds.  Also introduced in the Stage Two cubes are split vowels (in a funky connected-but-not pair of cubes), capital letters, punctuation, and double letters  There are 32 cubes in this level.

There is a faint line below each letter for orientation.  You'll have no confusing p/d q/b issue with Can Do Cubes.  Each cube is made of hardwood and is laser engraved.  I find them quite beautiful, actually.

In the box, you'll also find
  • Can Do Cubes instructional handbooks for Stage One and Stage Two
  • Teaching, Learning, and "Sounding Out" with Debbie Hepplewhite DVD
  • The four part Teacher's Guide and Template Book by Laurie Fyke on CDRom
  • Phonics Chart
  • Word Charts that list all the words that can be spelled using the cubes in Stage One.

Every one of the boys has been using the Can Do Cubes.  Merrick uses them alongside his Jolly Phonics lessons.  We also play a game he just LOVES.  He rolls the "dice" and tries to spell words with the face up letters.  This doesn't always work out just right (he has had a Yahtzee of letter I before!), but it has been a fun challenge for him as he grows and develops his understanding of phonics.

Ready to Roll and Sounding Out.
I also found some worksheets on the CDRom.  And I know my boys, so I laminated them.  It's a fun activity to match the cubes with the letters on display on the templates.  We look at even the ones he has not necessarily learned yet and Merrick gets a sneak peek at the different ways some sounds can be spelled.

Merrick also likes a game we call The Squish Game.  He lines up the sounds of a word with a space between the cubes.  After saying the sounds, he "squishes" the cubes together and reads the whole word.

As I said, all the boys have been using Can Do Cubes for spelling.  Mostly, they've been playing with them and spelling some of their favorite words.  These cubes will be *great* when we start our new spelling program this fall.  (I can't believe it's almost time!)  I've been looking into ways to "cement" spelling words into Mal and Xav's heads.  They really do well with a physical component added to learning when ever possible.  We are going to be adding finger spelling with ASL.  The Can Do Cubes will add just another fun dimension to their spelling curriculum.  Anything concrete like that, which adds another dimension to spelling is so cool.

I'm looking forward to keeping Can Do Cubes close at hand for *many* years to come.  With the high quality of the cubes, I expect to be able to use them for a long time.

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Can Do Cubes

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