TOS Crew Review: Critical Thinking’s Beginning Mathematical Reasoning Pre-K

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My littlest girl is 4 years old and *always* wants to be with the "big kids."  She’d love to have her own set of things to do for school, but other than having her sit in on all the reading we do and working on our Classical Conversations memory lists, she doesn’t have a lot of workbooks to actually do.  So she was so excited to see this big workbook arrive!

This Bright Minds/Critical Thinking product is wonderful.  It’s colorful, written simply and to the student (of course, you’d probably have to read it to them!) and fairly inexpensive ($25.)  From the website . . .

Mathematical Reasoning™ helps children devise strategies to solve a wide variety of math problems. This book emphasizes problem solving and computation to build the math reasoning skills necessary for success in higher level math and math assessments. This book is written to the standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The Level A book is a complete curriculum for the PreK grade level.

These highly effective activities take children far beyond drill-and-practice by using step-by-step, discussion-based problem solving to develop a conceptual bridge between computation and the reasoning required for upper-level math. Activities and units spiral slowly, allowing children to become comfortable with concepts but also challenging them to continue building their math skills.

At 235 pages long, this book is definitely hefty and will take your child awhile to finish!  Unless, of course, they’re anything like mine and want to do every page RIGHT THIS SECOND!  The book starts wtih very simple concepts–touch and count the hearts/birds/frogs, or how many apples are in this row?–and continues through comparing length and size, counting sides and corners of various shapes, recognizing patterns, etc.  Also mixed throughout are pages which are really about getting the child to think . . . look at the picture of children around the table and tell me which meal they just finished eating–breakfast, lunch or dinner; or asking them to divide a set of squares/circles/triangles into groups and telling you why they did it that particular way. So it’s a painless introduction to story problems!

 These books are so awesome, I am going to see what they’ve got for Kindergarten as well as 2nd grade curriculum for next year!  Check it out for yourself at www.criticalthinking.com

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