curriculum reviews

The Critical Thinking Company: Balance Math Teaches Algebra Review

We received Balance Math Teaches Algebra to review.  I love it when we get to look at new math curriculum and love The Critical Thinking Company’s materials!  Having kids with varied math strengths and weaknesses makes it hard to use the same things over and over again.  This is a great review for my 10th grader and a great introduction for my 7th grader.  Each problem is presented on a scale to balance.  It is very much like solving a puzzle.

My 10th grader has strong math skills and thought this was a great reinforcement.  He didn’t think it was too easy and didn’t think it spoke down to older students.  My 7th grader hates everything “math”.  She was just devastated that I would have her look at this.  I was so incredibly pleased when she understood what she was doing and asked for more pages!  This is HUGE!!!   She said, “it was difficult at first, but then got fun and I actually looked forward to it”.  She also said, “I liked the scales, it made the thought of algebra fun!”

The Critical Thinking Company offers many products!  Balance Math Teaches Algebra has 52 pages of perforated worksheets and 10 pages of tips and answers.  I found it very easy to copy (permission granted on their website) the sheets for my kids and add to their workboxes.  This workbook is recommended for grades 4-12 and is $14.99.  Since we could easily copy these worksheets, I think this is a great value!

At first we thought the equation structures were confusing.  Having been taught Algebra before, we automatically thought that “xy” meant x times y.  The authors place a shape around “xy” making it x plus y.  Having “+” in the equation would have helped. Our 10th grader was also confused by this.  We explained to our 7th grader how this will mean something different when she does Algebra.   We also would have benefited from a little more explanation on each page.  Many times there was no directions, but just an equation to balance.  Don’t get me wrong… we did really like this!!! It took a little while to be able to follow this format, but the kids love it and are learning lots!!!

Others on the TOS Crew reviewed this and 3 other Critical Thinking Company products.  See what they have to say about it here.

Disclaimer:  I was given Balance Math Teaches Algebra  for the purpose of this review, I was not paid.  All opinions expressed are my own.


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