Building Thinking Skills Level 1 was provided to us for review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Opinions are our own.
Late in November, a heavy package arrived for us from The Critical Thinking Company. Upon opening the box, we found the rather thick Building Thinking Skills Level 1 to review. R was excited as this one was *just* for him to try out. Level 1 covers both 2nd and 3rd grade with activities designed to build higher order thinking.
Since the copyright allows the original purchaser to make copies for their family (or classroom), I have not had R write directly in the book. Instead, we have done several pages orally. Since he has difficulty putting his thoughts into writing at times, this seemed like a good way to test this material out for now.
So far he enjoys what we’ve done and we’ll be continuing to use this product in our homeschool journey. There are so many topics covered, some of which are easy to forget about when you are focused on the basic subjects. Topics covered include logical thinking, sequences, spatial awareness, vocabulary development, map reading and graphic organizers. What I appreciate is how the activities help build skills needed for problem solving without overwhelming the student or teacher.
This particular book retails for $29.95 in print format and is available directly from Critical Thinking Co. or other retailers such as Amazon. They also offer a CD-ROM version for $36.99. This level contains 327 pages of activities, plenty to use over 2 years.
They have other levels available as well as other products to encourage those thinking skills. Their website offers some sample downloads of software in addition to pages from some of their books. We plan to test a few of those demos out to see if products targeting thinking skills in math, reading or science would be a good fit for our family.
As I have already mentioned, the purchaser is permitted to make copies for use in their family or classroom. So, if you have several kids that will use this book the cost becomes minimal. All of the pages with answers appear at the end of the book (shrunk to fit 9 pages per sheet). With books like this one, I have heard it suggested to visit a local office supply store to have the binding cut off and the pages 3-hole punched. While I prefer to not pull books apart, I can see how beneficial this is for copying specific pages later on.