“The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking” – Do You Need a Better Way to Learn or Teach? This Book Offers Great Ideas

Book Review : The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird

Spoiler Alert!

the 5 elements of effective thinkingThe coauthors are mathematics professors. Burger teaches at Wiliams College; Starbird at The University of Texas at Austin. Here, they “reveal the hidden powers of deep understanding (earth), failure (fire), questions (air), the flow of ideas (water), and the quintessential element of change that brings all four elements together. By mastering and applying these practical and proven strategies, readers develop better thinking habits and learn how to create their own successes.”

Brilliant people aren’t a special breed–they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques in The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways of looking at your world and yourself–revealing previously hidden opportunities.                                  (Courtesy of goodreads.com)

Adult Point of View

There are many self-help books that have been written to help us achieve success, however you may define success. The reason I found this book to be refreshing is because it is simple, uses common sense and sites specific patterns to follow.

The 5 habits are attached to elements to make them easy to remember through association with a symbol.

1 – Earth Grounding your Thinking, Understand Deeply
2- FireIgniting Insights through Mistakes, Fail to Succeed
3 – AirCreating Questions out of Thin Air, Be Your Own Socrates
4 – WaterSeeing the Flow of Ideas, Look Back, Look Forward

5 – The Quintessential ElementEngage Change, Transform Yourself

I decided to approach math with one of my younger kids with the habits presented in this book. I quickly discovered that he doesn’t have a deep understanding of the root of multiplication. He and I are now approaching this subject in a new way. I am hopeful that the ideas presented will help him. I will add more to this post after we have used the ideas that Burger and Starbird have presented.

One of the main things I like in The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is that it shows we all have the ability to improve our thinking in any area of our lives. There are many children who don’t seem to “get it” in school and I strongly believe that we need to approach each child with different ways of teaching until the light bulb goes on for them. We have had some amazing teachers that have used innovative thinking to help my children learn, and I am incredibly grateful for their hard work.

So far… 4 out of 5 stars
but….. I may raise it to 5 after seeing how this affects my children.
4 star

– Michelle

If you enjoyed this book you may also like to check out Dreamers, Discoverers & Dynamos by Lucy Jo Palladino, Ph.D.


About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow cooked in a tagine. Weekly I get together with friends and go to yoga for a bit of mommy time. Some may find me quirky, I prefer to think I am one of a kind.
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