Early College Express

Issue #2: September 2015

Common Instructional Framework (CIF) Strategy Focus : WRITING TO LEARN


The teacher creates a low-stakes environment that allows students to develop ideas, think critically and hone writing skills. Used daily, this strategy helps students improve fluency and mastery of written conventions and gives teachers an excellent formative assessment tool. Low-stakes writing opportunities scaffold middle- and high- stakes writing.

Source: Educate Texas, Jobs for the Future

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INSTRUCTIONAL PROTOCOL OF THE MONTH: LUCK OF THE DIE (a.k.a. Cubing & Think Dots)

Description: The roll of a die determines a student’s contribution to a topic or event.


Application: Use this protocol to explore facets of a topic or event.


Process: Supply one die per student or share dice among students for this activity. Direct students to roll the die to determine what each is responsible to complete:

Roll a 1: Draw it (no words).

Roll a 2: List at least fifteen words that describe the topic/event. Roll a 3: Tell the positives (+) and the negatives (-) of the topic/event.

Roll a 4: Compare the topic or event to three other things.

Roll a 5: Contrast the topic or event to three other things. Roll a 6: Connect the topic/event to real world events.


Once students have completed their tasks, direct them to find students who also rolled the same number and proceed to share and talk about answers. Ask students within each group to select one to be presented in front of the entire class.


Source:http://www.waynecountyschools.org/cms/lib6/NC01000512/Centricity/Domain/2630/Itty%20Bitty%20Book%202nd%20Edition%20June%2025%202014%20V3.pdf

Resource Links: Cubing Examples and Writing to Learn in all Subjects

Cubing Examples

Reading, Science, Math, and History Cubing Ideas

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