Thursday, April 26, 2012

Critical Thinking - Mathematical Reasoning

Don't you just love companies that produce solid curriculum choices over and over? The Critical Thinking Company does just that. The TOS Homeschool Crew was pleased to review four different curriculum choices from this company, and you can read more about those HERE. Today, I am taking a look at Mathemathical Reasoning, by Carolyn Anderson.

Mathematical Reasoning, Level F for grade 5, is a part of The Critical Thinking Company's Core Curriculum Series. This series offers "Complete Grade Level Solutions in Math, Language Arts, Science and Reasoning." There is a Core Curriculum Series in at least one of those subjects for every level through grade 12. Most people know about The Critical Thinking Company because of their logic and thinking skills books--and they do these very well. In recent years they have opened up new avenues of learning for students in the various subjects listed above. This note, from their website, details how their Core Curriculum Series is different:

We design critical thinking into ALL of our core curriculum products. This not only helps students transfer critical thinking skills to other areas of their lives, it improves the effectiveness of the lessons. Critical thinking requires deeper analysis of the lesson. Deeper analysis produces deeper understanding, resulting in greater engagement and retention of the lesson.

I don't know about you, but I really like the idea that my child might learn how to think critically while also doing her math or language arts!

The author, Carolyn Anderson, holds graduate degrees in mathematics and education. "She taught for more than 20 years in the North Kansas City School District and is currently an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Park University. (...) She spent nearly ten years as managing editor of Math Magic, a national math magazine and math-enrichment developer."

I thought that last bit was remarkable and would be of interest to homeschool moms that are less inclined towards textbooks. This is not your normal 5th grade math book!

Printed in muted colors, this 8.5"x11" softcover has 413 actual pages for your student. The answer key is in the back of the book and is easily removed. This is an all-in-one resource with no extra teacher book needed. The list price is $42.99, but is currently on sale for $37.99.

The list of topics/skills covered in Mathematical Reasoning is thorough:

Table of Contents/Skills
Capacity - customary, metric
Concept - addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
Coordinate System
Critical Thinking
Data Analysis - bar graph, line graph, survey, table, picture
Data Collection
Decimals - concept, add, subtract, multiple, divide
Draw - parallel, perpendicular, by definition
Equations Expression, Vocabulary
Estimation - addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
Fractions - form/vocabulary, add, subtract, multiply, divide
Graph, Table, Chart, Figure - analyze, represent
Length - customary, metric
Likelihood, Probability
Mean, Median, Mode
Money - add, subtract, multiply, divide
Negative Numbers
Order of Operations
Patterns - geometric, numeric
Place Value - expanded notation, number form, word form
Reflection, Translation, Rotation
Shapes - 2D, 3D
Signed Numbers
Temperature - customary, metric
Variable as Unknown - in addition, in subtraction, in multiplication, in division
Weight - customary, metric
Whole Numbers - addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
Word Problems

The NCTM Standards covered are:
Number and Operations
Data Analysis and Probability
Mathematical Reasoning is intended to be used with your child; not handed to them with page numbers marked off for them. (Something I am all too guilty of doing with math!) These activities are meant to be done together to foster real understanding. The Critical Thinking Company doesn't just want your children to walk away with math knowledge, they want to help your child think critically about what they have learned.

If these are goals you have for your child then I highly recommend you investigate The Critical Thinking Company's website. There is something for every family and every homeschool to be found there.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me,
in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.

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