Friday, March 13, 2015

Review: Math Analogies Level 1

If you have read this blog for a while, you have probably noticed that we love math at our house. SA(6) is especially keen on it. And so when the Schoolhouse Review Crew gave me the opportunity to review some Math Analogies software from The Critical Thinking Co., I thought SA would probably have fun with it.

The Math Analogies come in three levels: Beginning (grades K-1), Level 1 (grades 2-3), and Level 2 (grades 4-5). They are available as Windows software or physical books. Since SA is in grade 2 in math, we chose Math Analogies Level 1. We received a Windows software download with 152 analogies to complete.

If you're not familiar with analogies in math, they basically take the form of "A is to a as B is to b, or A:a :: B:b." They help children learn problem solving skills. At this level, these analogies include problems in addition and subtraction, multiplication and fractions, telling time, geometry, measurement, and probability.

SA did his analogies several times a week during his daily "screen time." As I half expected from him given his affinity for math, he took to analogies intuitively and required little explanation. He did make a few mistakes, and these often had to do with American content: references to money, or to measurements such as miles and yards (as opposed to kilometers and meters). He got 87% on his first run-through. The program allows you to go through and try again on the problems you missed the first time, so he did that, and still missed two or three problems. Finally, he got them all correct on his third attempt. After this, since he was a bit frustrated with his initial 87% (What can I say? He is a typical oldest child.), he decided to restart the program and see if he could do better. This time he got 94%.

Analogies are a great exercise in problem solving. For SA(6), I do not think the Math Analogies Level 1 taught him a lot, as he seems to think this way fairly naturally. However, he did enjoy it very much as a "screen time" activity. I had to limit him to 25 problems a session, or he would have done them all at once! This is a great choice for a fun supplement to your math program. I know SA would definitely be interested in trying out the next level in the future. And I am happy with a screen time activity that's not just entertainment, but has some educational value.

Math Analogies Level 1 sells for $6.99 for a 2-computer license, or $13.99 for a 6-computer license. Once you have bought it, you can re-use it any number of times, whether with the same student, or with other students. You can find more information, including a software demo, at The Critical Thinking Co. website. You can also connect with them via Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Be sure to check out what the Schoolhouse Review Crew has to say about this and other products from The Critical Thinking Co.