ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – ThinkFun’s new line of STEM Amazon exclusive games are specially curated products that are fun and proven to work. These games are designed to test childrens’ reasoning and analytical skills in a way that goes hand in hand with the “growth mindset” education reform taking place in schools nationwide.
The term “mindset” describes a set of established assumptions held by a person or group of people, and the term is becoming a buzzword in realm of education. Teachers are working to encourage students to adopt a “growth mindset”, or the belief that their talents can be developed through hard work and finding new strategies, as way to change their performance in school. Mary Cay Ricci, the coordinator of Gifted and Talented Education for Baltimore County Public Schools, sought to take this concept and apply it to students in the Baltimore area using a non-traditional method – logic games.
Mary conducted the experiment using these and other ThinkFun products to see if she could improve students’ critical thinking skills. The experiment involved fifty-three 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms from Title I schools, and focused on improving the students’ reasoning skills. The students took a cognitive ability test before and after teachers implemented the games as part of their curriculum. After 7 months, all of the classrooms averaged a growth of 8 percentile points in analogical reasoning, and 7 percentile points in quantitative reasoning. One school in particular improved 21 percentile points in quantitative reasoning and 14 points in analogical reasoning. Not only did their scores go up, their mindsets shifted. Teachers reported increased motivation, cooperation, and persistence amongst the children. As one student put it, “The more you try, the more you get smarter.”
This experiment is detailed in Ricci’s book, Mindsets in the Classroom, and demonstrates that these particular games do have an impact on children’s critical thinking skills. 1
ThinkFun’s STEM Amazon exclusive games include:
Brick Logic, Ages 8 and up, one player, MSRP: $14.99
Brick Logic challenges you to build a symmetrical brick wall by assembling five puzzle pieces that match the image on one of 60 challenge cards. Introduced in 1990, this classic logic game is a fantastic spatial challenge that is still going strong!
Safari Rush Hour, Ages 8 and up, one player, MSRP: $24.99
Set up the game grid according to the challenge card, then maneuver your Escape Rover through a safari of wild animals. Rush Hour fans will love the new challenge of the larger 7 x 7 game grid and the Escape Rover that moves in all directions.
Shape Logic, Ages 8 and up, one player, MSRP: $19.99
Shape Logic helps develop spatial, abstract and quantitative reasoning skills. To solve the puzzle challenges, stack green pieces on top of blue pieces, or vice versa, to create identical shapes. Through hands-on play, players build key skills, strategies and mathematical understandings, such as part-to-whole relationships.
Sweet Logic, Ages 8 and up, one player, MSRP: $19.99
Similar to Sudoku, players examine all the clues on the cards before making a move. Once they discover where to put a chocolate piece, they combine this knowledge with the clues to learn more information. Your confidence builds as you narrow down the possibilities to fill each candy assortment!
Public Relations Specialist
1. Ricci, Mary Cay. Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools. Waco: Prufrock, 2013. Print.