4/20/12

TOS Review: Crypto Mindbenders Famous Quotations

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I have loved every single product I have ever tried from  The Critical Thinking Co., so it was no surprise to me that Crypto Mind Benders  Famous Quotations would be a huge hit with my three “big” girls.

We are no strangers to the Mind Benders series.  It’s one of our favorites for developing reasoning skills.  Crypto Mind Benders operates on the same principle.  Use logic and reasoning to solve a puzzle.  These are commonly called logic puzzles.  Crypto, however takes it to a new level.  Instead of solving to find out which person came from which house and brought what to the neighborhood BBQ, you uses math symbols (mathematical reasoning)o solve the key to unlock a famous quotation.

Description from the website: “Crypto Mind Benders® compel students to break a secret code so they can identify a hidden joke or quotation. To break the code, students must apply logic and mathematical reasoning to 3 sets of clues. The challenge is getting all the information out of each clue! Once students break the code, they can solve the cryptogram by substituting the numbers with their corresponding code letters. The Quotations book familiarizes students with classic quotations from famous thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Voltaire, Socrates, and more! The Jokes edition familiarizes students with classic, good humored, jokes that both kids and adults enjoy.”

These relatively inexpensive workbooks have even more value because you can buy just one to use for your whole family or classroom.  Permission is granted to the initial purchaser to make copies of the activity sheets for one family or one classroom.

We received the physical book ($10.99) but an e-book is also available (also $10.99).  One feature that I love of the physical book is the perforated pages.  I can easily tear out the pages and make the copies I need.  In addition to the 30 activity pages, there is a Sample Activity to walk you through how to solve the puzzles as well as detailed solutions for all the puzzles.  Recommended for grades 3-12+. 

Thoughts from BooBear (age 16, 11th grade):”I really like how you use the clues to solve the puzzle and you are rewarded with a quote.  I am a quotey person.  I love quotes. I enjoy puzzles too so having the two together is awesome. These are easy to add in to my school day.  I really like  this product because I enjoyed it.”

Thoughts from Turtlegirl (age 14, 9th grade): “I love it! I always enjoyed the other mind benders/logic puzzles we’ve done. I also enjoy codes. This was a perfect blend of my favorite puzzles. Mom has to ration me or else I’d do them all at once.  (She only lets me do 1-2 a week to make the book last). Some of the quotes are really interesting. I think I really like it because it’s logic.  It makes sense and doesn’t change.  There are rules and they follow them.  It’s not like the English language. The English language has forgotten how to follow rules.”

Thoughts from Tailorbear (age 13, 7th grade): “They are so much fun. It’s like solving codes. I like figuring out the hidden message. Some clues don’t make any sense at first glance such as h+y= n+e but that’s where the other clues come in.  I like how you have to solve the mind benders puzzle to figure out which letter goes with which number and then use those letters to break the code and read the message.”

My Bottom Line: I love these.  I think Crypto Mind Benders are an excellent way to teach deductive and reasoning skills.  They are fun (and addictive!).   Crypto Mind Benders also works on mathematical reasoning skills.  I also love that my children love them and while they have fun with the puzzles, I know that they are improving and building those critical thinking and reasoning skills that I want them to learn.

Be sure to visit the Critical Thinking Co. website to see all the wonderful products they offer!  I think the Mind Benders (and Crypto Mind Benders!) are my favorite but we’ve also enjoyed Building Thinking Skills and the Can You Find Me riddle books.

In addition to Crypto Mind Benders: Famous Quotations, the crew also reviewed 3 other Critical Thinking Press products: Inference Jones, Mathematical Reasoning and Balance Math Teaches Algebra. Click on the banner below to read what my fellow crew mates had to say!PhotobucketAll information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

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