I noticed one that had changed the "e" to equation and thought that's so perfect and simple. Sadly though I can't seem to find where it was from. (If you know let me know and I can give them credit.) So I decided to change my CUBES into:

U - underline the question

B - box the math action words

E - equation

S - solve, check, and sentence

I decided that I also was going to make it more interactive. So with the help of my students, we came up with some actions to go with our steps. I have found that integrating actions and poems into math has really helped my students this year. We came up with the following actions:

C - make a circle motion with your arm and say "Circle the numbers"

U - make a horizontal line with forearm and move from left to right saying "Underline the question"

B - make an L and backwards L with fingers, combine the Ls to make a box and say "Box the math action words"

E - with left and right arm horizontal, make an equals sign and say "Eeeeequation"

S - keep the equals signs arms and say "Solve", put thumb and pointer finger up and turn sideways to make a checkmark saying "check", and then pretend to write in the air, punching for the period at the end of the sentence saying "sentence".

We just started this today and already so many of my students are really getting problem solving. We also created a list of math action words together. First we talked about how addition is getting more of something and brainstormed ways that we can get more. This list included buy, borrow, find, and take. Then we discussed how subtraction is getting less of something and brainstormed ways to get less. This list included: sell, lend, give, throw out, and destroy/break. Then I provided them with some math action words that they might find in the questions. For addition we came up with: in all, altogether, sum, together, and both. Our subtraction list for questions included: left, "how many more", and remain.