Homeschool.com’s Product Reviews
| Crypto Mind Benders® by Nile Duppstadt II Grades 3-12+ $10.99
The Crypto Mind Benders® set of books develop mathematical reasoning and critical thinking skills. They’re great for introducing children to encryption, algebraic thinking, and basic computer programming operations.
These books compel students to break a secret code so they can identify a hidden message (quotation or joke, depending on the version you purchase). To break the code, students must apply logic and mathematical reasoning to 3 sets of clues. Frequently, one or two sets of answers comes without too much difficulty, but the third one takes considerably more time to figure out. The challenge is getting all the information out of each set of clues. Once students break the code, they can solve the cryptogram by substituting the numbers with the corresponding code letters.
The Quotations book familiarizes children with classic quotations from famous thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Voltaire, Socrates, and more–the quotations are educational, in and of themselves. The Jokes edition familiarizes students with classic, good-humored, jokes that both kids and adults enjoy. Purchasing one of each, and using them in tandem might be nice–as the quotations are certainly educational but the problems are so taxing, your student might want to be rewarded with a joke!
Crypto Mind Benders® are challenging…sometimes very difficult….and surprisingly, they are fun. Your students might grumble through the first two, but by the fourth, they’ll be hooked–and want to do more. Completing a problem correctly gives such a feeling of accomplishment and confidence.
These books are great for kids that don’t like word problems, as these are word problems without the words! Once your students can do these, they might look at word problems differently–from a more positive standpoint.
Perfect for school, home, and travel, Crypto Mind Benders® are popular as brain jump-start, extra credit, or reward activities. The exercises are also great for adult cognitive maintenance. Although for grades 3+, third graders might find the problems too difficult.
Crypto Mind Benders® come in hard copy and eBook form. Either way, you’ll need scratch paper!