Monday, June 21, 2010

Balance Benders Review

I love the Critical Thinking Co.! I love their catalog with all of the great educational toys and games - great Christmas gifts in there. If you haven't been to their website, your should check it out! I have long loved their Editor in Chief Series for teaching grammar. So, naturally, we all jumped at the chance to review some of their products! We got to look over the Balance Benders book for grades 2-6 - this is actually the Beginning Level, there are 3 more advanced for high school age students. This workbook has puzzles for logic and algebraic reasoning.
And they aren't kidding when they say Algebraic reasoning. It was hard for me to stretch my little arty brain around some of these puzzles. But, I guess that is the point, huh? Ally (6th grade) is a pretty logical kid and she is great at logic problems and complicated puzzles, she's had some pre-algebra too. She struggled with some of the puzzles and enjoyed the challenge. My 1st and 3rd grader were way overwhelmed by these.
The best thing about these books is that they really make the brain stretch! Exercising this area of the brain isn't easy, and most school curriculum really ignores this kind of advanced thinking -so these workbooks are great for that purpose. The activities reminded us of the Nintendo DS game Brain Age which includes a lot of similar activities. They say exercising this part of your brain prevents Alzheimer's in older people too! Maybe I should send this book to my mom when I am done with it.

You can purchase Balance Benders from the Critical Thinking Website HERE for $9.95. They are also featuring two neat contest each with a $500 gift card to use on their Critical Thinking products! A video contest HERE and another program HERE where you can nominate a teacher for a Critical Thinking HERO award.
You can also follow them on Twitter or Facebook. The Facebook page has a lot of neat information and links to neat critical thinking articles.

This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by The Critical Thinking Co. for the purposes of review only.

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