• Welcome to the Speedsolving.com, home of the web's largest puzzle community!
    You are currently viewing our forum as a guest which gives you limited access to join discussions and access our other features.

    Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community of 35,000+ people from around the world today!

    If you are already a member, simply login to hide this message and begin participating in the community!

Starting a Cubing Club for Kids

BenBergen

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Messages
107
Location
Canada!
WCA
2015BERG10
Recently I’ve been thinking that it would be really cool if I could start a Rubik’s Cube Club for Grade 4s, 5s and 6s at my local elementary school. For reference, I’m Grade 11, going into Grade 12 next year. Why do I want to do this? Well a few reasons.

· I want to see if I can take my crazy passion for speedcubing, and turn it into something bigger and more meaningful

· If I could inspire others a younger generation take up speedcubing, that would be really awesome

· Volunteer hours :)

anyway, I’ve been thinking through the logistics of running a Rubik’s Cube club for kids and I’ve come up with a few ideas for what might work, and a few problems that I need to work around. Here is what I’ve figured out so far. Please leave suggestions or comments! That’s the whole reason I’m posting here anyway; to get more ideas and help.

1. I figure meeting once a week for an hour to an hour and a half after school would work well

2. The primary goal, obviously, will be to teach everyone to solve the cube. I will probably teach the beginner’s LBL method. I’m guessing this will take 3-4 weeks.

3. What do I do once everyone has learned the beginner’s method though? Some kids will probably be content with just learning to solve the cube. Others (hopefully) will be hooked and want to keep learning more. Currently what I’m thinking is, I’ll have kids sign up for the 3-4 weeks to learn to solve the cube initially, and after this I’ll give the kids the option to either keep learning more, or to call it quits.

4. Once I’ve found the group of dedicated kids who want to keep learning, what do I teach next? The obvious next step would probably be F2L and 4LLL. What kind of other kind of things could I teach though? Other puzzles would be cool, but that brings me to my next issue…

5. Materials. Not everyone will have their own cube, and if they do, it’s probably a wrist numbing Rubik’s Brand. To solve this, I think it’s best to get a class set of speed cubes. They don’t need to be expensive; $5 cubes like the QiYi Sail or YuXin Fire would probably work. Kids could use the cubes whenever we meet, and maybe even sign them out for the week. Additionally, I could keep some extra, new ones so kids could buy their own if they want to. Getting back to teaching other puzzles though, this presents a problem because I would need a class set. Possible, but I think only if it’s a small group.

6. Teaching kids how to solve the cube is good and all, but how do I make the club more interesting? Are there cool activities related to the steps of solving the cube that I could lead. Or are there other Rubik’s cube related activities I could run, just so it’s not strictly learning the steps of how to solve the cube. I want to make it a more diverse program.

Any and all comments and suggestions are appreciated!
 

Loiloiloi

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
573
Location
Easton, Pennsylvania
WCA
2016CLAR04
I'll leave a response to a few of the ideas you numbered in this post, also I think this is a great idea and a good way to get involved in the community! Personally I don't like being around children so I could never do this.

1. If you're running the group solely by yourself, make sure you prepare largely in advance and have a flexible schedule to handle this. I've known many high school clubs which end up being cancelled more often than not because either issues arise, or the people organizing the clubs have other obligations. This is what you're trying to avoid in a teaching environment.
2. You should pick a good method of showing people how to memorize algorithms, I have found that when you give names to a certain set of moves (such as triggers like sexy) it can help people who won't even cube on their own time to remember the algorithms, obviously for algorithms like the UF edge and RF edge swap in LBL you would need to break the algorithm into pieces.
4. You could always open up the opportunity to show the kids how to start learning other puzzles on their own, but I guess that kinda defeats the point of the club (although it could always just a way for people to show off new puzzles they can solve), or get them into something which takes a lot of practice like BLD solving or OH solving.
5. I recommend getting stickerless cubes, because beginner cubers may get frustrated and peel off the stickers or just do it for fun. http://zcube.hk/YJ-333-GuanLong You can get 20 stickerless guanlongs here for only 25 dollars including shipping (you can also use coupon "zcube" and get 20% off). I would also recommend gluing down the center caps so they don't mess with them. If you bought that many cubes (or even more) they're very inexpensive so you wouldn't have to worry about signing kids out cubes, you could just assign each kid a cube, and have a backup incase any kid lost theirs.
6. You could show films or videos with cubing in them, like the Pursuit of Happiness for example. You could talk about how cubing shows up in the media or even analyze solves this way. Of course that movie wouldn't be a very good example but you get the idea, it's good to teach using entertainment every once in a while so children don't get bored.

Lastly, make sure you have enough patience and understand what being a teacher for children entails. This is something you're very interested in so it should be less frustrating, but some children may start to get on your nerves. Be prepared.
 
Last edited:

oneshot

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
142
Location
Down the rabbit hole...
YouTube
Visit Channel
I'm a teacher, and I'll post more when I have more time, but as for the other puzzles, maybe you could break the group up into a group of 4 to learn the new puzzle, while the rest of the group just practices, then rotate. Not everyone will be interested in every type of puzzle.
And other things to make it interesting: see if you can put something up on a bulletin board with pictures and maybe the times of the kids, and update it like a leader board.
 

Bec

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
2
I see this thread was started in September. I'm wondering if you were able to get a cubing club started. I teach 3rd grade and my son is a 5th grade cuber. He enrolled at my school in October and always has his cubes with him. And now, cubes have taken over the 5th grade. We are a k-8 school so I thought a cubing club would be great as my son and his friends get ready to enter middle school next year. Of course, it would be open to all students. I would love to be able to encourage them to participate in local competitions but I have no idea how to go about organizing such an event or if there is any interest. So basically, I've got this great idea but not really sure where to start.
 

Bec

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
2
By the way, my son solves 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, 5x5, megaminx, pyraminx, Sqewb and square 1 so he would be my instructor. I don't speak the cube language LOL.
 

Douf

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2015
Messages
114
Location
Calgary, Canada
Have a folder to give each student on Day 1 containing information about speedcubes, the maintenance of speedcubes, listing what the WCA is and what its different events are, printouts of algs or .pdfs of the method(s) you're teaching them (so they can bring it home and do it as much as they want during the week before next class).

Also on Day 1, before teaching anything, show them some of your very favorite cubing videos (such as your favorite WRs) , including current WRs so they can see where world cubing is at the moment they begin their journey.

I'm just thinking that you want to get them hooked and geeked on it right away, lighting a fire in them so to speak. Yes teach them to solve, but the more energy and fun you bring out the gates the more they'll want to come back and maybe bring others.
 
Top