Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Critical Thinking Co. Review & Giveaway!

We were blessed with two books from the Critical Thinking Co., Mathematical Reasoning Level E and Balance Benders.
  

We have been using Mathematical Reasoning, since the beginning of the school year.  I actually switched The Lil' Chef over to this book for the year from a different program that she had been using for the last 2 years. She has started off with a spiral type math curriculum from the beginning and then started to struggle when she entered 3rd grade.  After getting some advice from some veteran home school moms I switched her over to mastery program, which worked for a while but really seemed to take away her love for math.  Yes, this child loves math!  Anyway, after two years of dragging thru math we started Mathematical Reasoning and guess what... She likes it, she really likes it!!  The Lil' Chef actually loves math again! 

She is doing great in this book, not because this book is easy for her because it isn't, the book challenges her but also explains new concepts to her in a way that she understands.  This is a spiral curriculum, which I believe works best for her, and it includes critical thinking skills.  With critical thinking skills included it is like getting 2 books in one. 


Here are the skills that are included in Mathematical Reasoning Level E:
  • Analyze
  • Angle
  • Area
  • Calendar
  • Capacity - customary, metric
  • Characteristics
  • Congruence
  • Coordinate System
  • Count
  • Data Analysis - bar graph, line graph, survey, table
  • Data Collection
  • Decimals - concept, add, subtract
  • Draw - parallel, perpendicular, by definition
  • Equations Expression
  • Equivalence
  • Estimation - addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
  • Factors - form/vocabulary, add, subtract
  • Fractions
  • Graph/Table/Chart - analyze, represent
  • Inequalities
  • Length - customary, metric
  • Likelihood/Prediction
  • Mean
  • Median
  • Mode
  • Money - add, subtract
  • Multiple
  • Negative Numbers
  • Order
  • Order of Operations
  • Pattern - geometric, numeric
  • Perimeter
  • Place Value - expanded notation, number form, word form
  • Polygon
  • Prime/Composite
  • Properties
  • Reflection, Translation, Rotation
  • Rounding
  • Shapes - 2D, 3D
  • Symmetry
  • Temperature - customary, metric
  • Time
  • Variable as Unknown - in addition, in subtraction, in multiplication, in division
  • Weight - customary, metric
  • Whole Numbers - addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
  • Word Problems
As you can see there are alot of great skills that are included at this level.  I appreciate that she gets to learn real life math, you know math that we everyday.  This series also includes several math skills that are normally not taught until the following grade level.

The Lil' Chef likes that she isn't doing the same thing every day and she enjoys the fun and colorful pages.  Mom likes that the answer key is included with this math book which means no extra money on a teacher's key.  For those of you who are probably wondering if I kept the teacher key in the back of the book, of course not.  I took the easy tear pages out, stapled them together and put them away.  I just pull them out to check her answers. 

The Mathematical Reasoning Series currently goes from PreK to 5th grade and ranges in price from $24.99 to $32.99.  I have to say that I very disappointed when I found out that this was the highest level for Mathematical Reasoning and I thought that I would have to again search for another program but I recently learned that they are working on a level for 5th and 6th grade.  Yippee!  So, providing it is available, I plan on using this curriculum again next year for The Lil' Chef.



Now for the Balance Benders, at first we didn't get it.  It really took a few times of sitting down and trying to figure out what we were supposed to be doing.  Once it clicked and we got it we really enjoyed Balance Benders, they are actually pretty fun.  These are not something that I have required her to do every day, although I probably should because she would be learning very valuable reasoning skills.  Mostly we just do them for fun, and even though I am not a math person I really enjoy them too!

These balance puzzles are not only fun but they help students get accustomed to Pre-Algebra.  Children have clues to use to help them to solve the puzzles.  The Balance Benders workbooks would be a great addition to any child's workboxes, these are great learning tools that kids really enjoy.  They would also be great for stocking stuffers or long car trips.


The Balance Benders Series has 4 books for children in grades 2nd thru 12th grades.  They are very affordable at only $9.99 each.

We have also used other products from the Critical Thinking Co. in the past and they have never disappointed us!  This company will continue to be one of my favorites!!

The Criticial Thinking Company has offered to do 2 Giveaways for my readers.  One will be for a Beginners Level Balance Benders book and the second giveaway will be for a Balance Math & More Level 1.  Both books are for grades 2-6.  


Please leave a SEPARATE COMMENT for each way that you enter and PLEASE DO NOT FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS! The giveaway is going to run until November 24, 2010. Here is how you can enter to win:
  • You must be a Follower of LSG to Win! Please leave me a comment and let me that you do.
  • If you have just become a new Follower, please tell me how you heard about this giveaway.
  • SPREAD THE WORD! If you blog about this giveaway, please come back and leave me a link to your post.
  • Please visit the Critical Thinking Company's website, and let me know what other products they have that interest you!  
  • Facebook or Twitter about this giveaway and leave me a comment to let me know about it.
  • Like The Critical Thinking Company on Facebook and let me know about it. 

 These products were given to us free of charge from the Critical Thinking Company  for review purposes.  The opinions in this review are my own and I have not been paid in any other way.

31 comments:

Taffy said...

Great books! And giveaway. Thanks.

I'm a follower.


taffy(dot)lovell@gmail.com

Cindy K. said...

I am a follower using my own RSS Reader. Does that count, or is there a specific way I have to follow?

I head about this giveaway on Homeschooling Blogger Haven Yahoo Group.

We are using Mindbenders right now, from Critical Thinking Press, but I really like the sounds of your Mathematical Reasoning books! Maybe we can use that as a supplement to the boys' current programs. I will have to take a look at those! Looking at the sample pages, how do you personally use this book? She works for a certain amount of time each day, or does a certain number of activities each day?

I have also "Liked" the Critical Thinking Company on Facebook.

Thank you!

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

I follow using gfc

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

Love their Think A Minutes

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

Like them on fb

Holly said...

I follow using my blog roll RSS thing :)

hollyjeanjackson@gmail.com

Holly said...

I really am interested in the can you find me and mind benders books...and also the core math curriculum you were talking about. I have seen CTC at conventions...but never realized that they had a full curriculum. I guess I always thought it was books to supplement other math programs for logic and critical thinking. I am very interested now!

hollyjeanjackson@gmail.com

Holly said...

I blogged about it :)
hollyjeanjackson@gmail.com

Lisa said...

I am a follower.

Lisa said...

I like the Mind Benders.

Sheena said...

I just subscribed to your blog. I found your blog through Giveaway Scout

chamsmama@gmail.com

Sheena said...

If I had to pick just one, I would say the Mind Benders. However, there are so many that are so awesome.

chamsmama@gmail.com

Sheena said...

I "Liked" CTC on Facebook

Patriots of the Republic Academy said...

I already follow you!

Patriots of the Republic Academy said...

I LOVE the Critical Thinking Company's stuff. There is a lot I would love to have... I have been wanting the math program for awhile, though, so that would probably be at the top of my list. I would also love to get Mind Benders and the Building Thinking Skills workbooks.

Patriots of the Republic Academy said...

I 'liked' The Critical Thinking Company on Facebook.

Gigi Lynn said...

I'm a follower, thanks so much!

Gigi Lynn said...

We love Editor in Chief!

Gigi Lynn said...

I just "liked" The Critical Thinking Co. on Facebook!

Cindy K. said...

RE: Mathematical Reasoning books:
If we were moving over from another program, would you recommend starting out a year lower than a "regular" math program with these? IOW, if we are doing 3rd grade math now and wanted to start these when we finish up the book we are on, would we do the 3rd grade of these (for a son who has always struggled with math) or go ahead and move into the 4th grade book?

Thanks,

cooperkelly4 said...

I am a follower already

cooperkelly4 said...

oops forgot to add we would love the benders one. =0)

cooperkelly4 said...

went to the critical thinking site and we liked the mind benders too. =0) thanks for the math bender review. cooperkelly4 at yahoo dot com

Martha said...

I just followed you on GFC.
I found this giveaway throught the Crew Forum.

martha.schaum@att.net

Martha

Martha said...

We use the Language Mechanic and Spelling Dooriddles from CTC. I am interested in Editor in Chief and the Math series.

martha.schaum@att.net

Martha

Michelle Smith said...

I follow via Google Friend.

Michelle Smith said...

I'd like to try the Visual Perceptual Skill Building books.

Michelle Smith said...

I liked Critical Thinking Press on Facebook. :)

ajandmichelle AT juno DOT com

McMama said...

I am a follower of LSG!!

themclean6(at)gmail(dot)com

The Unsell Family said...

Another great giveaway! I just love your blog. ;-)

I am a follower.
~Jen Unsell
unsells{at}yahoo{dot}com

The Unsell Family said...

I am now a fan of Critical thinking company on facebook.
~Jen Unsell
unsells{at}yahoo{dot}com

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