Monday, April 25, 2016

Logic Resources before the Logic Stage: Part 2

A continuation of what we're doing with logic before beginning formal logic in 5th grade in the fall. (Part 1 here.)

Perplexors is a series of logic workbooks that focus on deductive reasoning based on clues in a story/sentence format, as well as process of elimination and "if, then" thinking, and is a variation of a grid logic puzzle. It's kid friendly and appropriate, though sometimes there were things that my boys had no experience with that needed to be explained. Interestingly, Builder Boy had a difficult time differentiating girl names from boy names, so when gender was used I had to identify the gender of the characters for him.

The puzzles start out simple and easy, and increase in difficulty. The below examples are the first and last pages of the Basic Level MORE book.

The Perplexors series has been such a big hit in our house that I've bought three in the past few months. I didn't find out until after I had bought the first one that there were more options, so learn from my experience!

The level system threw me, and I didn't see the chart until I had already bought the first one, so here it is:

Basic Level: Grade 3-4
Level A: Grade 4-5
Level B: Grade 5-6
Level C: Grade 6-7
Level D: 7-9
Expert Level: 9-12

I, not having seen the Basic Level option, bought Level A for 4th grade Builder Boy. I would have liked this to be a more independent for him than it turned out to be. He did okay, but I had to coax and scaffold him through quite a bit. Being new to the concept, the Basic Level would probably have been a better start for him.

After seeing his big brother having fun with Perplexors, Early Bird wanted one, too. By that time I had found out about the Basic Level and ordered that one for him. He breezed through the first half of the book, enjoying the continuity the and the silly animals doing human things. Towards the end of the book, though, he needed help more frequently due to increase in difficulty and complexity, and we did not finish the last few puzzles because they were too much. (I can not, in good conscience, recommend buying this for a first grader without making sure you're aware of the large amount of teacher involvement required for a first or second grade reader.)

If I knew what I knew now at the beginning I would still have gotten the Basic Level for Early Bird but I also would have gotten the Basic Level MORE book for Builder Boy. They way they could have both worked at the level best for them (which, yes, happens to be the same level) but they would have had different problems to work on. Now I'm letting Early Bird continue with the first half of the MORE book and Builder Boy is working on the second half of the MORE Basic Level book. I'm copying the pages and bringing them out when we need a break from the book we moved on to next which I will review in Part 3.
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