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Understanding Pre-Algebra by The Critical Thinking Co™ Review

Looking for a pre-algebra curriculum? Understanding Pre-Algebra: Middle School Mathematics by The Critical Thinking Co™ is worth considering. Here’s our review.

Looking for a pre-algebra curriculum. Understanding Pre-Algebra by The Critical Thinking Co™ is worth considering. Here's our review.

Understanding Pre-Algebra Review

Understanding Pre-Algebra
Different kids learn in different ways, so I’m always happy to look at new curriculum suggestions. Last month my sixth grader got to try out a copy of Understanding Pre-Algebra: Middle School Mathematics that we were sent to review.

Understanding Pre-Algebra workbook-1

Emma already has a pre-algebra book that she is steadily working her way through, but she was a good sport and looked through this book. I looked at it as well.

What Did We Like About Understanding Pre-Algebra?

Both Emma and I liked the fact that there were colorful illustrations spread throughout this math book. For reasons I fail to understand, math books are frequently lacking in visual representations. Depending on how it is printed, printing pages with color can cost more, but I’ve seen research showing that color can accelerate learning while increasing retention and comprehension. It seems like it’s worth the price to make a subject more interesting and easier to understand! Even pages like the one highlighted above make simple math problems more interesting.

Understanding Pre-Algebra workbook-1

Colors can also help students organize thoughts, as shown above.

The book is designed to provide a complete pre-algebra course, and I feel it does that. The book starts off discussing the different kinds of numbers, then moves on to algebraic expressions. Geometry is introduced, as well as functions and probability and statistics. It’s a great resource if you want to make sure your child doesn’t move on in math with gaping holes (for example, I mysteriously made it all the way through higher level calculus in high school without going through a single statistics lesson).

Understanding Pre-Algebra workbook-3

What Would We Change About Understanding Pre-Algebra?

I think that some kids would enjoy this book, and it’s certainly one worth considering if you are looking for a pre-algebra book for your kids. Emma found some of the exercises in the book repetitive – in a “keep saying the same thing” kind of way rather than “let’s practice some more” way. She really liked the colorful pirate game, and would have liked a higher ratio of those kinds of pages to the “fill in an answer” type of page that you see above.

I think that storytelling and visual representation are under-used in mathematical teaching. This book, to its credit, had some of both. Emma and I would have liked to see more.

The Critical Thinking Co™ Promo Code for My Readers

The Critical Thinking Co™ makes a lot of interesting education resources! You can use coupon code TOSCREW18 to get free shipping and 15% off any size order through December 31, 2018. Sign up for free critical thinking puzzles delivered to your inbox weekly.

More Critical Thinking Co™ Reviews

There is an entire time of home schoolers reviewing The Critical Thinking Co™ products this month! Read all of their reviews – including more opinions about the math book we reviewed – by clicking on the image below.

Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}
I’m figuring out homeschool curriculum for my rising 5th and 7th graders right now, so I would LOVE to hear if you have used any of their books and loved them!

Looking for a pre-algebra curriculum. Understanding Pre-Algbra by @criticalthinks is worth considering. Here's our review. #math #middleschoolmath #middleschoolcurriculum #TheCriticalThinkingCo #HSReviews

Have you used this math curriculum? What did you think? Share your opinions in the comments below, on my Facebook page, or by tagging me on Instagram

Crew Disclaimer

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

5 thoughts on “Understanding Pre-Algebra by The Critical Thinking Co™ Review”

  1. natalie planetsmartypants

    We liked Critical Thinking books when A was younger. They are engaging. But there must be a reason why they are not rated as high as Beast Academy :)

  2. Interestingly, for my kids color can be distracting. A little bit can help, but lots of illustrated graphics distract them. I’m the same way, so I get it.
    This sounds like a nice solid math curriculum.

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