Letter Cube Blending
DESCRIPTION: The Letter Cube Blending intervention targets alphabetic (phonics) skills. The student is given three cubes with assorted consonants and vowels appearing on their sides. The student rolls the cubes and records the resulting letter combinations on a recording sheet. The student then judges whether each resulting ‘word’ composed from the letters randomly appearing on the blocks is a real word or a nonsense word. The intervention can be used with one student or a group. (Florida Center for Reading Research, 2009; Taylor, Ding, Felt, & Zhang, 2011).
- Three Styrofoam or wooden cubes with selected consonants and vowels displayed on the cube faces. (See directions for preparing these cubes below.)
- Letter Cube Blending Recording Sheet (see attachment)
PREPARATION: Here are guidelines for preparing Letter Cubes (adapted from Florida Center for Reading Research, 2009):
- Start with three (3) Styrofoam or wooden blocks (about 3 inches in diameter). These blocks can be purchased at most craft stores.
- With three markers of different colors (green, blue, red), write the lower-case letters listed below on the sides of the three blocks--with one bold letter displayed per side.
- Block 1: t,c,d,b,f,m: green marker
- Block 2: a,e,i,o.u,i (The letter I appears twice on the block.): blue marker
- Block 3: b,d,m,n,r,s: red marker
Draw a line under any letter that can be confused with letters that have the identical shape but a different orientation (e.g., b and d).
INTERVENTION STEPS: At the start of the intervention, each student is given a Letter Cube Blending Recording Sheet. During the Letter Cube Blending activity:
- Each student takes a turn rolling the Letter Cubes. The student tosses the cubes on the floor, a table, or other flat, unobstructed surface. The cubes are then lined up in 1-2-3 (green: blue: red) order.
- The student is prompted to sound out the letters on the cubes. The student is prompted to sound out each letter, to blend the letters, and to read aloud the resulting ‘word’.
- The student identifies and records the word as ‘real’ or ‘nonsense’. The student then identifies the word as ‘real’ or ‘nonsense’ and then writes the word on in the appropriate column on the Letter Cube Blending Recording Sheet.
- The activity continues to 10 words. The activity continues until students in the group have generated at least 10 words on their recording sheets.
- Florida Center for Reading Research. (2009). Letter cube blending. Retrieved from http://www.fcrr.org/curriculum/pdf/GK-1/P_Final_Part4.pdf (pp. 13-17).
- Taylor, R. P., Ding, Y., Felt, D., & Zhang, D. (2011). Effects of Tier 1 intervention on letter–sound correspondence in a Response-to-Intervention model in first graders. School Psychology Forum, 5(2), 54-73.