Critical Thinking Activities
This series concentrates on three types of critical thinking: recognizing patterns, visual imagery, and logic & reason. Increasing a student's awareness of patterns is helpful in many areas - but especially in mathematics, since mathematics is largely a study of patterns! Activities included in this section contain both visual and mathematical reasoning to discover and continue patterns. Imagery (the ability to visualize) is extremely helpful in problem solving as well. Exercises include reproducing designs, ordering, comparing, symmetry, mirror images, congruence, rotation, similarity, part to whole relationships, folding, turning, rotating, and more. Logic, of course, helps students to think "successfully." Again, you'll find a wide assortment of activities here including logic word problems, visual logic, Venn diagrams, following directions, making deductions, deciphering codes, ordering steps, etc. Within each section, activities progress from easy, to medium, to difficult. The author's main goal in developing this series was to increase students' abilities in mathematics by sharpening the three important elements of critical thinking in math: patterns, imagery, and logic. However, increasing your children's ability to recognize patterns, use visual imagery, and reason logically will help them solve problems in almost any subject area - and in life. We list these books in this section rather than math because the benefits of using them far exceed the boundaries of math.
What impresses us also about these books is the range and variety of activities. We have seen and used other thinking skills workbooks in the past, but, despite their increased volume, there was a lot of repetition of very similar exercises (not that these volumes are lightweights - they range between 174-192 pages each!). In order to cover the full scope of activities included in Critical Thinking Activities, you'd have to purchase several different books. The books are reproducible, but, unless you have access to inexpensive copying, you might want to use them as workbooks. As an additional bonus - the answers are included right in the books.