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Friday, March 13, 2015

Review: The Critical Thinking Co., Math Analogies Level I (TOS Review)

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We just checked out Math Analogies Level 1 (Windows software download version) by The Critical Thinking Co..  What a fun little learning tool!

Math Analogies Level 1 is geared towards the 2nd-3rd grade age range.  I’ll admit though, when I sat down to play around a bit before handing it over to my son, I had a blast! 

It is a program designed to help build problem solving skills. Most of the programs were admittedly very easy for me, but it was still fun.  These problems really get you thinking!  The thought keeps coming to me that these would also be good for brain exercises for older people (myself included!). 

Screenshot 2015-03-11 22.12.18

I turned it over to my son and had him do 10 problems a day about 3-4 days a week.  The program starts with 152 problems.  Once those problems have been worked through (the 1st attempt) they are given a 2nd attempt with the ones they got wrong the previous time.  This continues up to 4 attempts.  Then you can start over if you’d like. 

Screenshot 2015-03-10 21.34.33

My son didn’t really seem to get it at first, I sort of just let him have at it, but, after his 3rd attempt and seeing how he did (not horrible)….I sat down with him and we discussed them.  That was when the light bulb came on.  I guess I should have done that the first time!  I explained to him that he just needs to find the pattern, that seemed to click for him. 

There is a link on the game “How to solve analogies”.  I guess he didn’t think to use it, nor did he ask for help.  Sometimes it is good for them to figure it out on their own, he did improve each time. 

That is what is nice about this program, it really is a ‘just go for it’, type of program.  You can give a much or as little assistance as you want.  The problems missed are repeated, so they learn through trial and error.  It can be repeated again and again.  I am interested to see how he improves in his 2nd go round of his 1st attempt. 

After answering each analogy you receive immediate feedback.  The program tells you if you got it correct or wrong.  You are  also able to go back into previous attempts and review them, though it doesn’t give you the answer options or the correct answer, if you had it wrong.  It does allow you to see the one that is wrong and hopefully you can see why it was wrong.  This can help you in figuring out the correct answer in a future attempt.

Screenshot 2015-03-10 21.35.52

This is downloadable program, so once you purchase it, you own it, forever.  You can start over after completing the 4 attempts, use it again with the same child or with other children.This is a supplemental tool, not a full curriculum, but it is lots of fun!  There isn’t anything flashy or fancy about it, the problem solving in and of it’s self is the entertainment.

It is available in book form, as a Windows download or as an Android or iOS application.  Cost varies by form and the number of licenses you want (up to 2 or 6 computers).  

There are a variety of levels, you can find out about the other ones and some other products by The Critical Thinking, Co. by reading the other Crew reviews. 

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