Friday, April 27, 2012

Quotes, Jokes, and Critical Thinking - A New TOS Review!

Critical thinking is an important skill to have and nurture.  Logic is at the core of any classical educational  curriculum and when you find products that support and encourage both, you definitely want to learn more. The Critical Thinking Company is just such a company.

The Product:
Critical Thinking Co.'s goal is to empower the mind of our children. They do this by designing critical thinking into 'every day' subjects such as math, history, science, and reading. By incorporating these skills into a child's curriculum you are helping them to practice these skills so that when they are older they will be able to apply them to their life.

 While they have many products to choose from, we were chosen to review Crypto Mind Benders. This serious further develops the critical thinking originally taught in the Mind Benders series without using word problems. Crypto Mind Benders introduce students to thinking algebraically, encryption, and even some basic computer programming operations.

The student has to break a code in order to read a secret quote or joke. They break the code by using both logic and mathematical reasoning to figure out three sets of clues. Once the clues have all been decoded they have to solve the cryptogram by substituting all the numbers for the corresponding letters.
The quotations in this book are all from famous thinkers like Socrates and Einstein. They have a Jokes book as well which are filed with lots of classic good-natured jokes.

There are just 2 books in the Crypto Mind Bender series (Jokes and Famous Quotations) and are available for $10.99 regardless if you order the paperback or ebook. Theses are recommended for grades 3 - 12+.  Some younger students may take a while on these depending on whether they have ever attempted these types of problems.

Our Experience:
If I'm being honest with you ... which I always try to be ... these are confusing and difficult for me. So I had my husband do the majority of "instruction and explanation" with these.

Stephen likes these because:
"They are good at introducing logic especially for those who are verbally inclined, especially since they seem to be centered on language. They are a simple way to have your child begin using charts to figure out math puzzles. It also uses simple mathematical skills and helps with understanding the order of numbers, how numbers relate to each other, and to know that when two number's add up to the answer, your choice has been limited. As the student progresses through the book the problem sets become more indepth and build using more complex math skills."

I had Ari try to start these without dad and originally she refused. Once daddy sat with her and helped her through the first set of clues she was off to the races. She really likes to do them. Stephen and Arianna are very similar when it comes to these types of puzzles. This has given her a new way to figure things out and she likes that.

My Thoughts:
I love most everything I've ever reused from the Critical Thinking Company from Mind Benders to Building Thinking Skills to Dr. DooRiddles so I wasn't surprised that we loved  these Crypto Mind Benders too.
I hope you take the time to read the other reviews our Crew did for The Critical Thinking Company. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, or by phone or email.

Critical Thinking Company would love to hear from you and you can contact them directly by phone, fax, or send them an email.  They can also be found on Facebook.  Be sure to check out what other Crew members are saying.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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