I like to watch my children think. Seeing them take information in, process it and then “spit out” what they have figured is a lot of fun. I will admit that sometimes, they get a little too smart
alec for me, but it is just their minds hard at work; “getting better…stronger…faster” (70’s flashback).
I have read several articles that state college students lack critical thinking skills. They don’t have the ability to know how to objectively review various details of a situation or determine if something is fact or just an opinion. Try having them put that into words on paper.
The Critical Thinking Co.™ is on a mission to develop the critical thinking skills in children. The hope is their (children) grades will improve; test scores will become higher, which will in turn lead to more success in life.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
The Critical Thinking Co.™ is a family-owned business that has been “empowering the mind” for more than 50 years. They have products that cover reading, writing, mathematics, science and more in which critical thinking has been woven throughout the lessons. Instead of drills and memorization, students are encouraged through fun and easy to use lessons, to “carefully analyze what they are learning.” I can say there is a book for every level of learner and definitely one your child will enjoy using for one or more subjects. Some of the books will satisfy a full year of learning in subjects like math.
We had the opportunity to review Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary, which was published this year. The book is geared towards students in the fifth through twelfth grades. That is a wide range, but when it comes to teaching vocabulary, the elementary age years is a great time to start learning. The book is the first in a series (Book 2 is due this summer). The books are classified as critical thinking and language arts.
The student is learning a wide range of vocabulary words, but with a twist; there is a mystery involved. See, it is already fun and not the typical way to learn vocabulary. There are 12 mysteries/cases the student solves while learning vocabulary. Each case involves four suspects: either four women or four men.
Each case provides clues to help the student determine the witnesses and the suspect. Students are encouraged to look up words and use a process of elimination to find “who dunnit”! You may see sample pages.
I got the book for Canyon (fourth/fifth) to use and did find the words were a bit more advanced for him, but he was still able to understand the cases. I just had to help him a little bit more with the definitions. He was able to use his critical thinking skills and solve the cases with the information he learned. We read through one case each week. I selected a few words each week for us to use in our daily conversation to help improve his (and mine) vocabulary.
We use to do critical thinking exercises every day. As my children have gotten older, we have moved from completing the really fun critical thinking (like from The Critical Thinking Co.™) exercises. Once in high school, critical thinking becomes a study of logic, which can still be fun, but takes a more serious approach. The Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary Book 1 is a fun way to learn vocabulary. Next school year, I plan to use the book with River and Lily. They will both be in high school. We will use the Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary as a supplement. Although they will take the ACT, it will be good practice, because many of the words included in the mysteries are ones that may be found on a standard SAT exam. The vocabulary they learn will be helpful as they continue into college. We will cover two mysteries a week and they will be able to read through each mystery on their own. I am looking forward to the release of the second book in the series.
This particular publication does allow the original purchaser of the book to make copies for use within “one home or one classroom,” so if you have multiple children, this is a book they may complete together.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
You may purchase a paperback of the Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary for $8.99.
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