Friday, March 13, 2015

The Critical Thinking Co. Math Analogies Level 1 Review

Critical Thinking Company Review

The last few weeks I got to review a learning product from The Critical Thinking Co. They have a lot of great products and you can check there site The Critical Thinking Co. I Reviewed Math Analogies Level 1

Math Analogies Level 1 is designed for grades 2-3. It uses grade level standards that have been identified by the National Council of Teaching Mathematics. Math Analogies Level 1 helps students develop the ability to reason analogically. This is a great problem solving skill that helps kids develop better mathematical skills. This Analogies teaches kids to break down a problem into smaller parts to make it easier to recognize familiar problems to help students find the solution. A two computer download license is $6.99. You can order here at For those of you with tablets. It is also available on the google play store and the app store.

Critical Thinking Company ReviewWe have the downloadable Pc version of Math Analogies Level 1. The Pc version requires Windows® 8/7/Vista. We are using it on windows 8 and so far I have not had any problems operating the program. The program downloaded super easy. It only took a few minutes to complete even with my super slow internet. I chose to have an icon put on my desktop so its easy for my daughter to find.

I am currently using Math Analogies Level 1 with my second grader. We started working with the program three days a week.  I quickly learned that analogies are something we really need to work with more. The first attempt gave her 152 problems. It was too many problems to do at one time and she quickly became over whelmed with it after just a few problems. I made the decision to break that first attempt down over three days. She got it finished but only got 54% of them correct.

After that first attempt I realized she had no idea how to actually read the problems.  I had to sit with her and explain what she was being ask to do. The problems are written in a way that most kids are not used reading. An example is  G : g  :: C :_____ . Which should be read as G is to g as C is to ___.    Once she realized that "is to" implied that there was a connection between the first part and the second part of the phrase and that "as" showed that the second part would be similar to the first part it started clicking. Here are a couple screen shots of some of the analogies that she did. It will give you an idea of how the problems are written out.

It took me reading out loud a few problems for her to start to get the connection.  After we did few of the problems together she started catching on and began to show improvement and understanding of how to read each problem.  Once that happened she began to get more and more answers correct with each attempt and it took her less and less time per problem to solve it correctly. After that each attempt gave her less problems to solve.  It gives you only the problems that you got wrong on the previous attempt. We still take a day or two to finish an attempt. But she is showing improvement and I am thrilled about that.

This has been a great supplement to our current math program which does not focus on analogies.  I will be starting my kinder out on Math Analogies Level 1 when she starts first grade. I feel it has helped to round out our math curriculum for the year.

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