Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
If you have never heard of The Critical Thinking Co.™, than you should really consider checking them out. This company focuses on creating tools that work to challenge and sharpen students critical thinking skills. Their approach is unique as they do not focus on memorization or drills, but “empower the mind”. We have been enjoying working through Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving which is geared towards grades 6-9.
What It’s About
Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving holds the belief that problem solving should be fun, shouldn’t be graded, and shouldn’t be timed. This entire book presents puzzles and riddles that require using mathematics in every regard to solve them. Problem solving requires using a wide range of strategy as well as math skills.
It is recommended to take one puzzle, brain teaser, story problem or logic problem at a time and work with your students on how to solve it. If it becomes frustrating to too hard, take a break! Sleep on it. Come back and work on it again later. The goal of this book is to grow confident on solving problems.
Each chapter is categorized by the types of questions you’ll find. For instance, two of the chapters are “Multicultural Logic Problems” and “Fun With Classical Brain Teasers”. These are fun to enjoy at lower grade levels and aren’t specific in the types of math skills they exercise.
Later chapters are more targeted such as “Geometry Word Problems”, “Algebra Word Problems”, “Probability Word Problems”, and “Topology Fun Word Problems”.
How We Used Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving
My oldest girls are going into 5th grade, but I picked this book because I knew that it would challenge them to increase their skill set above their grade level. I do not regret this decision.
We approached this book as something fun we could do as a family unit to sharpen our problem solving skills. We pulled out white boards, paper, pencils and even scissors and glue some nights and spent several hours on our family night once a week working on puzzles.
We jumped around the book quite a bit and enjoyed a wide range of questions. Some of our favorites I included pictures of a couple of our favorites.
The Nine Dots problem was an absolute blast! We spent a long time trying to figure out how to solve it. A few of us got close (me and my oldest daughter Ahavah), where a couple of us had no clue how to solve it (my husband and my 8-year old, Hayven). We have been drawing out the problem for our friends and family to solve. The only one who came close to solving it uses math in their career on a daily basis.
Our other favorite story problem was The Three Intelligent Women problem. We had to act this problem out until we understood it. I figured it out first and excitedly yelled, “Ohhhh! I GET IT!”. One by one each of us started to see how the one woman knew what color mark was on her head and how she figured it out. The most hilarious was my 8-year old, Hayven. She got so excited she started jumping up and down and kept explaining the logic to us all over and over again.
What We Thought
I LOVE The Critical Thinking Co.™! We have never been disappointed with their products. This one in particular is my favorite that we have ever reviewed. It can be used over and over again and has so much content I see us using this for years to come.