Friday, April 2, 2010

Review: Critical Thinking Co.-Balance Benders


Critical Thinking

Let me begin by stressing the fact that I am in no way a mathematician. During my senior year of high school I took a basic math course, and I never went beyond Algebra 1. (Which by the way, I failed horribly.)

Needless to say, when Balance Benders from Critical Thinking Co. arrived for review my first thought was: “Great. Now everyone will know I’m a total dunce.” {Ahem}

BalanceBenders Balance Benders: Beginning is a workbook filled with 40 different logic and algebraic reasoning puzzles for students in grades 2-6. Each puzzle consists of 1 (or more, as the book progresses) balance scales with various shapes on both ends. Then based on that scale, students must choose 3 answers that will always be true.

Okay, if that totally made you hear crickets chirping, check out the sample page here. It’ll make much more sense that way. :)

I admit, it took several minutes for me to figure the first few puzzles out. Seriously, once you start throwing shapes and scales at me—I’m totally lost. (Think deer in the headlights.)

However, I did manage to s-l-o-w-l-y figure them out. (And the crowd goes wild: “Yeahhhh!”) Armed with a growing sense of confidence (read: fat head), I proceeded to share the workbook with my three kids.

Their reactions:

Sierra— “Dude…seriously?”

Abby—(Hears crickets chirping)

Ethan—“Oh! I get it! This is easy…so the answers for this one are A, D and E. And then this one…blah, blah, blah”. (Sierra and Abby stare at their brother in shock. Ditto his mother.)  

Well at least one figured it out, right?

I’ll probably get a few more of these for Ethan as he seems to enjoy them. The girls? Not so much. However, I’m hoping that with a little more practice they’ll catch on. (I mean let’s be honest: if I did, I KNOW they can!)

Balance Benders: Beginning is available from Critical Thinking Co. for $9.99. And yes, an answer guide is included at the back of the book. Just in case. :-] There are plenty of other neat looking workbooks from this company available as well. Check them out.

To read what my fellow Crew members had to say about this product, click here.

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