Category Archives: Testimonials

Rubik to the Rescue: The Rubik’s Cube Engages Students in East Harlem

Rubik's cube without stickers

Quote of the Week: Children must be taught HOW TO THINK, not what to think. – Margaret Mead.

Dear “Blogosphere” Friend,

I was planning to post an entirely different article from what you are reading. But as fate would have it, I got this article from our partner in the U.S.A., Holly Riehl as I woke up this morning. While reading, I couldn’t resist that urge to just use this ‘Testimonial’ this week. The urge was so strong that I jumped out of bed, ran to my lappy and started typing.

All credits go to Sabrina Truong who graciously agreed to share this with us here in Nigeria:

I confess. I peeled the stickers off my Rubik’s cube when I was a child. Needless to say, I never successfully matched all six faces of a Rubik’s cube in my life . . . until one memorable day when I attended the Creativity and Education Innovation Fair at the 92Y in New York City.
A sixth-year teacher at an East Harlem high school, I was at the fair because I was urgently seeking inspiration to combat my algebra students’ overwhelming resistance to math. I was intrigued by a colorful booklet at a booth that boldly proclaimed, “You Can Do the Cube.” The presenter somewhat cryptically declared, “The key step is making a white cross.”
Making a white cross sounds profound but really is quite simple. One can solve the Rubik’s Cube by following sets of algorithms, or rules. It took me about two hours as I deciphered the symbols and illustrations in the booklet and painstakingly executed each algorithm. Difficult at first, but I eventually bestowed trust in the algorithms. Finally — sweet, sweet success! Solving the Rubik’s Cube was demystified.

Algorithms Made Fun

Wanting to share that feeling of euphoria, I presented my principal with the idea of using the Rubik’s Cube to create an interdisciplinary curriculum. He encouraged me to introduce the cube in my Algebra class. Accordingly, I applied to www.youcandothecube.com to borrow 36 cubes for educational use.
Before introducing the cube, I unobtrusively built anticipation among the students. I first conversed with them about our commonality: unable to independently solve the Rubik’s Cube. Later, I announced that I successfully solved the cube by following proven procedures. Finally, when I indicated that I could borrow cubes for the class, my students clamored to learn.
The opening of the lesson was a customary Do Now, solving problems using the Order of Operations (a.k.a. PEMDAS). I connected the Order of Operations to solving the Rubik’s Cube by explaining that both involve algorithms, which are integral to math, computer science, and other real-world applications.
The students were divided into groups of threes and fours. Each student received full-colored directions. After demonstrating the steps concurrently with my cube and on the SMART Board, I simply facilitated. Engagement was absolute — students taught each other, appreciated that algorithms have real-world applications, and simply had fun learning.
Something more amazing happened thereafter . . .

Let the Games Begin

A trio of cube-riveted students decided to share the Rubik’s Cube with the rest of the school by starting a club and school-wide competition.( Please read more http://www.edutopia.org/blog/rubik-to-the-rescue-sabrina-truong)

(Mosaic of Albert Einstein)

 

To me, this article has demonstrated how teachers can make students think and make them perceive certain things from a completely different perspective. Have you ever introduced your students to a tool or method that blossomed beyond all expectation? Please tell us about it.

I look forward to you sharing your experience with the Rubik’s Cube.

#ExperienceTheCube

Credits:

Article: Sabrina Truong (A Writer, Educator & Lawyer)
Photos: Google

The Rubik’s Cube Has A Universal Language

Dear Friend in the “Blogosphere”,

Quote of the Week:  “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle.

Here debuts the first ever Nigerian Rubik’s Cube Blog! We need your feedback to make it as interactive, fun, informative, and educative as possible.

Though we shall be keeping you abreast of Rubik’s cube events around the world, we shall also be sharing the testimonials of both students and teachers from around the world, and they would equally love to hear from you, please do post your testimonials too.

Among other news, we shall be keeping you informed of scholarship opportunities in various universities together with other opportunities that help develop youths around the world. Please do share your views with us from time-to-time.

This week, our immense gratitude goes to Holly Riehl of the “You Can Do The Rubik’s Cube program” team in the United States of America. She shares with us the testimonial of Tina Criste, a 6th grade teacher of Park Orchard in the United States of America. This testimonial has impacted me greatly on the effect of the Rubik’s Cube, and I look forward to the effect it has on you.

Please read and let us have your comments.

Yours in the Rubik’s Blogosphere

#ExperienceTheCube
“I have to email you today because of what I am seeing in my classroom. I have 30 kids in my 6th grade class! They are a mix of all different ethnicities (Mexican, Chinese, Samoan, Vietnamese, African American, Pilipino, Ukrainian, Russian and more. I have four kids in Special Ed. I have a selected mute and several that don’t speak any English because they come from several refugee camps from far away. Why am I writing this letter. Well, with the mix of kids they all speak the same RUBIK’S cube language! I passed the books out, and then the cubes. We watched the video and then the kids went to town on the cubes. My selected mute kid who hasn’t spoken a word since entering school here in 2nd grade, solved the cube first! The class cheered for him and he said thank you very loud! It made me cry! He has sense come out of his shell and is whisper talking to me telling me how he solved it. He asked if he could take some home to work on! He has been found whispering and helping others in the class too! This isn’t my only success either! I have a 6thgrader that has some really big issues and is typically in a fight, suspended can’t get along with anyone and is always angry. Put a cube in his hand and he is a master!! He twists and turns and is quiet and other are asking for his help. He is working with others and doing a step by step tutorial even during his recess time. I am going to be ordering him the T-shirt as well as one for my selected mute kid. I will also be looking to buy some of these cubes for my classroom. The cube has opened the doorway for not only these two but others in my room too! What I love is who would have known that you can do the cube in any language… it is universal! It has brought us closer as a class and I have to say thank you! It will be a sad day when we have to send them back but because you were so kind in letting us borrow them I am truly grateful. Again you have totally changed lives in my room! You have made kids communicate when they didn’t know they could or chose not to. And you can’t put a price on that! The Rubik’s Cube has made a believer out of me!

Tina Criste
Park Orchard

6th grade!

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