Friday, March 13, 2015

{Crew Review} Critical Thinking Company's Math Analogies Level 1

Critical Thinking Company Review
I have to admit that there are curricula materials that I've forgotten to use with Levi just because he is the youngest and I've already "been there, done that."  Critical Thinking Co. materials is one of those 'holes' that I've forgotten to fill.  

But so much has changed since Ben was his age!  There is so much more technology which makes accessing some of these products easier.  Take for example, the Math Analogies Level 1.  This is designed for 2nd and 3rd graders.  It has been very easy to incorporate The Critical Thinking Company's Math Analogies ($6.99 for a 2 computer, perpetual license, PC only) into our homeschool this winter.  Why?  Well, Levi loved it & it was easily completed on the computer.

Critical Thinking Company Review

Math Analogies is a simple downloadable game that really doesn't take long to complete.  There are 152 problems in it.  Levi is at the upper age range for this product -- and has caught on to math quickly -- and he was able to complete the entire level with 100% accuracy in about 3 DAYS.  Yes, days.  

It was valuable for him to complete, however, because I'm not sure how much we've talked about analogies before.  

The program walked him through understanding how an analogy works.  After that, he was off to give the problems a try. By demonstrating how they worked; it did require reading, so you might want to stick around while he/she gets a feel for how the analogies work.                                          

There are various representational problems in the program:  

As well as problems that deal with numbers, number relationships and math facts:

Other relationships such as spatial relationship and money equivalents were also included. I noticed some inequalities and fractional relationships as well.

The program allows for drag-and-drop responses.  It clearly tells the student if their answer is correct or not. However, it does not provide any teaching if the student is incorrect.

When you student has completed the problem set or a session, you will get an accuracy report on the home screen.  They next get a second try at the problems they missed.  Levi only needed two tries to whip through the problem set;  it seems that the maximum number of times the student has to answer all the questions correctly is 4.  After that, you'll have to have your student start over with all the problems.

Technical specifications:
The program is only available on PC-based systems.   You can use it on Windows 8/7/Vista  a 1 GHz or faster processor and 512 MB of RAM.  The program was very easy to download and install and Levi was excitedly working through the introductory material after just a few minutes of introductory information.

I did notice on the website that there are iPad and and Google Play versions for tablets, but I don't know anything about them.

We used this program as a supplemental resource.  Like I said, Levi finished it very quickly because he loved it so much.  He was disappointed that the program was so short.

I was shocked, too, that the program went so quickly.  I thought that he would be able to use it a few days a week over the 6-week review period, but he was done with the entire program within the first week.  I noticed that there are several levels of the program, and wonder if it would be more helpful to families to have all the levels combined into one program.  However, if I was just wanting to introduce this idea to help with test taking strategies, the price certainly is right.

You can try on an online demo version of Math Analogies with 8 questions. Thankfully, you can access the demo version on a Mac of PC.

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