Monday, June 21, 2010

balance benders review

given the fact that i have already been interrupted 20 times while trying to write about this, i am feeling a little nervous about this summer.  how on earth am i going to keep my kids occupied all day every day?

of even more concern to me, is what i will do to keep zoe's brain occupied.  she is at a place where if she doesn't have enough challenges to deal with during the day she cannot get to sleep at night.  i don't want to give her homework, but i have been looking for fun and creative ways to keep her brain active.

this is where balance benders by the critical thinking co. has come in.  what is a balance bender you may ask?  a group of shapes are shown pictured on two sides of a balance.  knowing the shapes weigh the same leads to certain truths about the weight values of the shapes.  your job is to try to figure out from a list of equations which 3 equations are true, using the information you gain from the balance.

these puzzles are an excellent exercise in logic and they also serve as a great way to develop pre-algebra skills. the puzzles start out fairly simple then grow more and more challenging as you move toward the end of the book. i hope bill can figure them out better than i can because the ones at the very back of the book seem pretty complicated (actually there is an answer guide included with the book, thank goodness!).

i gave zoe the beginner's book ($9.99) for her birthday. she really likes having something to puzzle out for herself and it has been a great way to engage her brain now that school is done. i am thankful to have something for her to do that is entertaining but will hopefully help with the of the loss of knowledge that takes place over the summer.

personally, i still prefer sudoku puzzles. i like the idea of the balance benders but after one or two, i'm ready for something else. i think the same is true for zoe. this is something we will definitely need to space out over the summer. this isn't a book that she is going to zip through in one sitting.

if you like what you see and hear, you may also want to check out the critical thinking heroes award sponsored by the critical thinking co. this is a great opportunity for you to honor someone who inspired your own critical thinking abilities. you may also want to enter the critical thinking moments video contest. you could win a year's supply of educational product ($500 value).

this is a mamabuzz review. i received one book in the balance benders series by the critical thinking co. for the purpose of this review. the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

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