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Spectrum Critical Thinking for Math, Grade 2
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Each chapter begins with a pre-assessment to see what the student already knows, then the Lessons to teach or review concepts, and finally a post-assessment. There is also a Mid-Test and Final Test to ensure the student has mastered the concepts. One of the activities I really like in the Lessons is when concepts are presented “in the Real World,” such as determining if a class met it's goal for a food drive. Some of the problems encourage students to draw pictures to help them figure out the answer, and the examples will use them as well. There is also a nice variety of equations and word problems. The Answer Key includes drawings but acknowledges that students' may be different yet still correct. Overall this is a great book for my daughter to use to prepare for the fall.
Math problems are stated in many ways. The illustrations cannot be more to the point in my opinion. Yet to me the main difference between this math content and what I was learning around second grade is in the vocabulary and verbal expressions. Anyone completing this book should probably have the verbal side of second grade math down pat. Of course, this verbal side is backed up with visuals and numbers.
My favorite part is probably the operations in base ten. It's the foundation of so much to come, and it's very emphasized in this book. To my thinking the most difficult part isn't computational but understanding the plane shapes (2-dimensional) and solid shapes (volume, 3-dimensional). There isn't a lot of coverage on understanding these shapes, leading me to believe that if kids can achieve that understanding they will be ready for the computational math pertaining to planes and volumes. Big stuff.
I didn't find any typos. I rate this book 5-stars for organization and presentation; language; exercises and answer key; and images.
Some of the word problems are kind of confusing, i.e. they're the type of questions parents would upload on social media, often criticizing Common Core math. I've realized the problem isn't Common Core; it's that math questions are difficult to write clearly, succinctly and easily for kids to understand. There's a bit too much of asking how to express some concepts, like drawing pictures for even/odd or picture graphs. If you're the adult helping the children with this workbook, I recommend you look at the answer sheet so you can better explain fwhat the question was asking.
The workbook is perforated, though the book is thin enogh to be carried almost anywhere. There are 98 pages of worksheets; the rest at the end are answer sheets.
Like much of the common core math for elementary, this tries to have kids go round about ways and multiple ways to get answers, and it is not totally developmentally appropriate, leaving them frustrated.
For real critical thinking, I'd recommend The Critical Thinking Company.