Friday, October 10, 2014

Review of "Lollipop Logic"



Lollipop Logic (Book 1) by Bonnie Risby and Robert K. Risby II is designed for use with children in grades K through 2. It features 52 lessons, each a single page, reproducible and easy-to-use.

The book includes activities in seven categories: 1)Sequences, 2)Relationships, 3)Analogies, 4)Deduction, 5)Pattern Decoding, 6)Inference, and 7)Criteria Analysis.

There are 8 "Sequences" activities. These activities ask the child to put a set of pictures in order. (The book is designed for pre-readers.) For example, the third lesson asks student to order 6 pictures of a pear tree and a basket of pears. The correct order for this lesson is 6 pears on the tree and 0 in the basket, 4 pears on the tree and 2 in the basket, 3 pears on the tree and 3 in the basket, and so on. At first, my three-year-old thought the tree with one pear came first, because she has learned to count 1, 2, 3... But then I told her a story about a person who went out with his empty basket to pick pears off his pear tree, and she was able to figure out the correct sequence after the prompt. (I had to remind myself that she wasn't taking an I.Q. test, she was learning to use logic.)

"Relationships" has 8 activities. Four of the activities ask students to find a picture in a set of four pictures that has something in common with an item. The next four activities ask students to find things that do not belong in a group of similar items (sports equipment, musical instruments, tools, round things). Examples: Find something that has something in common with a shoe (eye, foot, tire). Find something that has something in common with a cube (baseball, conical party hat, cube-shaped gift box). Find something that has something in common with a birthday cake (birthday party hat, book, pencil).

In the section on "Analogies," there are 8 activities. Again, because this book is for pre-readers, all analogies use pictures. Examples: Big fish is to little fish as big cat is to (dog, back of cat, kitten). Dog is to bone as bunny is to (carrot, Easter egg, hamburger).

"Deduction" has 7 activities. Each Deduction activity shows 4 characters (2 boys, 2 girls) and 4 items, and asks children to figure out which item belongs with which child, using 3 clues. For example, "Snack Time" asks children to figure out which character brought which food for snack time. (One clue is "Ron and the boy with the apple sat together under a tree to eat their snacks." Based on that information, the child knows that Ron did not bring the apple, but the other boy did.)

There are 8 "Pattern Decoding" activities. Examples: Moon, moon, star, moon, moon (sun, moon, star, raincloud). Plane, boat, boat, plane, boat (train, car, boat, plane).

The "Inference" activities are like putting together puzzles. In the first four activities, children are basically asked to put the last piece in a puzzle. These activities are followed by 2 activities in which children look at puzzle pieces and must determine what the pictures are on the puzzles; each puzzle has 5 pieces. The next 2 activities ask children to decide which pictures go together (in one column there is a snowman, rainclouds, a smiling sun and smiling flowers AND in the other column there is an umbrella, a kite, and a sled.) Lastly, there are 2 activities that ask children to guess what each item is by only showing part of it, like a "close-up." (For example, a pig body with a curly tail, but the child can't see the pig's face.)

Lastly, there are 3 Criteria Analysis activities. These puzzles show silly creatures and ask children to determine which creatures fit certain criteria. For example, Oggs all have tails. Creatures that are not Oggs do not have tails. The lesson presents 6 creatures and asks which are Oggs. (The activity does not tell children that all Oggs have tails. Children must look at the Oggs and figure out what they all have in common, and what they have that the non-Oggs do not have.)

My daughter likes all of the lessons. We got the book yesterday, did about a dozen activities, stopping while she was still loving it, and tonight she begged to do more lessons. There are 3 books in this series, and I'm sure I'll be buying the other two.

Lollipop Logic is stamped with a seal that says it "Aligns with the Common Core State Standards."* As a homeschooler, I don't care. I really don't care.

As a fourth grade teacher who must teach lessons aligned with the CCSS, who just so happened to be teaching a lesson on Patterning from our district mandated math curriculum today, I wondered if Bonnie Risby had written Common Core-aligned logic books for 4th graders. She has.

*(This book was "aligned" before there was a Common Core, which is why I bought it. In other words, it didn't start out CC. Nothing changed from its original publication other than a page at the back of the book that lists what standards it meets. In case you're curious - let's pretend you are - it meets kindergarten and 1st grade standards in both math and literacy.)

(This is not a paid review. I just think this book is awesome.) 









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