Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pattern Explorer Beginning (A Homeschool Crew Review)

The Critical Thinking Co. understands that students need to develop their critical thinking skills in addition to just memorizing information.  Members of the crew have been reviewing their choice of 8 different workbooks from The Critical Thinking Co. with their students to work on these valuable skills.  Our family chose to review Pattern Explorer Beginning to use in our homeschool.

About The Critical Thinking Co.

Established in 1958, The Critical Thinking Co. has set a goal of producing award-winning products that help students to achieve better academic results as they sharpen their reading, writing, math, science and history skills while improving their critical thinking abilities.  By creating lessons that require the student to analyze what they are reading and learning, their hopes is that students improve both their grades as well as test scores as they learn to analyze information and use higher critical thinking skills to apply that information to their classwork and lives.  The Critical Thinking Co. does not believe in drill and memorization but instead believe that the development of these critical thinking skills produces better results.

About Pattern Explorer Beginning

For this review, we were given the Digital download version of this workbook.  Upon downloading the file and installing it onto the computer, the software must be registered using the license given to the user upon purchase.  Once registered, the user has complete access to the full workbook which can be printed out easily for one or more students.  The digital workbook is the same as the physical workbook of the same title. 

This workbook is targeted for students Grades 3-4th and use various math skills to solve: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and more. 

There are 5 different types of pattern problems that students will be asked to solve in this book:

  • Pattern Predictor  
  • Equality Explorer
  • Sequence Sleuth
  • Number Ninja
  • Function Finder
Through the course of the book, the students will be asked to solves these five type of problems, with each type being rotated throughout the book.  Each type of pattern problem will be repeated 8 times over the course of the 40 activities found in the book. 

The workbook itself is 88 pages in length. The first 4 pages of the workbook consist of the title page, table of contents, author information and introduction.  Following that are 48 page that cover the 40 different exercises for the student to work.  The remaining pages contain the key for the solutions for the exercises as well as hints for each activity to help encourage and guide the student to figuring out the solution when they hit a dead end.

How We Used This

We have been using Pattern Explorer Beginning as strictly a supplement to our math assignments and the kids love it.  After installing the EXE file onto my computer, I simply opened the program and then printed two copies of the first 20 pages.  These I keep in a folder and a few times each week, I give a page to the kids work on.   The kids routinely asked if we could work on "Pattern Math" and would celebrate when I grabbed that folder.  I didn't pick any particular day to use them - just scattered their usage throughout the week when I thought the kids needed a fun activity, such as after a long reading assignment or when they were having a bad morning.

And to be perfectly honest, some of our silliest moments in our school lately have revolved around working out one of the activities together..   Here's the kids telling me how much my drawing skills suck - just as an example of the silliness we've had together using these worksheets.

 Each activity uses and builds upon the skills they already know but don't like to practice, in a fun way in which they seem to forget that they don't like doing it.  I guess algebraic expressions seem much more fun when you're figuring for half moons and stars rather than X and Y.

Each sheet would take us roughly 10-15 minutes to complete and typically, we would work it out together with me writing the problems on our dry eraser board and having the kids walking me step by step through solving the various problems.

While we have gotten through a good percentage of the book, I have no doubt that we will easily be able to reprint pages and repeat the exercised without the kids objecting (or even realizing they are repeating them). Once I feel comfortable with their skills, I'll most likely purchase the next book of this series from The Critical Thinking Co.

#hsreviews #TheCriticalThinkingCo #EmpowerTheMind

For more information about The Critical Thinking Co. and the vast library of resources available for purchase, including Pattern Explorer Beginning, be sure to visit their website .  You can also find them on the following social media sites:

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Members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given their choice of 8 different products from The Critical Thinking Co. that covered language and math skills for different grades.  Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews and see if any of them might be a good fit for your particular student.

Critical Thinking, Math, Vocabulary & Writing Skills {The Critical Thinking Co. Reviews}

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