Monday, June 4, 2018

A Review of Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Co.™

We love puzzles and mysteries in our house.  They make us really think and come up with multiple solutions which helps our critical thinking skills.  Anything I can do that builds these skills now with my kids will help them later on in life.  This is why I was intrigued to receive Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Co.™ to review.  Little Miss has been using this book to improve her critical thinking and detective skills.
A Glimpse of Normal, Thinking skills, Math, Vocabulary, Critical Thinking, Language Arts
The Critical Thinking Co.™
Critical thinking is the process of identifying and evaluating evidence to guide decision making.  It teaches you to study the evidence at a deeper level so that you can make informed decisions about what to do with that evidence.  This type of deeper level of thinking and analyzing evidence is exactly what The Critical Thinking Co.™ has been striving to teach students since 1958.  This company offers over 200 books, ebooks, and Apps that help children learn to think at deeper levels.  Their products help teach your child to identify and evaluate material using in-depth analysis.  They offer products for students from toddler age through 12th grade.
Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 is a 32 page book for grades 4 and up.  It is a collection of fun and easy detective cases for your student to solve.  These cases require students to read carefully while analyzing the information of the case to figure out who committed a crime.  It is designed to build your student's observation skills, reading comprehension, and deductive and inductive thinking skills.  At first glance the cases in this book seem like they will be easy to solve, but upon further reading you will find that they are more detailed and little words mean a big difference when figuring out the innocent parties versus the guilty party.  This physical book is available for just $8.99.
I taught Little Miss to highlight what she thought were key facts.
Each of the 12 cases start out with a crime being committed.  Then we are given clues that tell more about the crime and the four suspects that may or may not have committed it.  At the end of each case, each of the suspects are allowed to say something (or in the case of animals, their owners say something about them) that may or may not clear them from being the guilty party.  Each sentence in the case and the statements from the suspects are numbered so you can refer to them while sorting the clues.  Each case also includes a page to write up your thoughts about the each suspect and the thief of the case.  Students are instructed to use full sentences when doing this and use the sentence numbers as reference points so when you are checking their answer you can see where they got their fact.  At the very back of the book are the answers to each case.  The answers not only tell you who the thief is but they also tell you why and why each of the other suspects could not be the thief.
Little Miss was pretty curious to find out what this book was all about when it came in the mail.  We read through the instruction page that told how to solve the cases.  This page told her what kinds of things to look for, how to decide if something was a fact or an opinion, how to decipher vague statements, and more.  It even warned her that the mysteries in the book would not be easy, but not to give up. So she started on her first case and I encouraged her to see what she could do all on her own.  She read "The Car Thief" and sat there thinking about it for a minute.  Then she started to look for clues in the reading to see what she could figure out about this case.  She also read the suspects' statements to see what they had to say about stealing the car.  Then she thought about it all for awhile and asked what to do next.  I told her to decide if there was one suspect that she could definitely rule out and then go from there.  This got her going on the case again and she had to re-read it to put all the clues together.  Eventually she figured out what she thought was the solution and why and she wrote out all the facts on the fact page.  Then I checked her answer in the back of the book.  She got this case right.  Little Miss continued to work through the book.  She didn't have to work the cases in order because they don't build on each other.  So she would flip open her book to a case that interested her and work on it.  After each case she would have me check the answers to see if she was right or wrong.  If she got the case wrong, I would just tell her that she was wrong and she should look more closely at the facts.  Then she would usually figure out what clue she had gotten wrong and figure out the right answer.  If she got stuck on a case, I would sit down with her and we would use highlighters to highlight key facts.  After I showed her this method, she seemed to be faster at solving them.  Little Miss was able to and happy to complete the whole book in the review period because she didn't want to quit working on the cases.  She has already asked if she can work on more books like this.
This is what the "fact page" looked like before Little Miss filled it out.  I didn't want to show it with her answers so I didn't give anything away.
I love that the Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 has improved Little Miss' critical thinking skills.  It has forced her to slow down and read carefully and even read the cases multiple times for the little details.  Some of the cases were tricky if you didn't read very carefully.  There was one that was about dogs and she missed the clue that said the dog was a girl because the first time she read it, she read quickly.  The clue said something about the dog's owner takes her out of town to where he works.  That is tricky, but it taught her to read more carefully and I was happy for that.  I like that this book worked her logic and reasoning skills.  She had to not only read the clues, but also figure out which suspect they pertain to and if it made them look innocent or guilty.  There were cases that at first reading, all four suspects looked guilty.  It wasn't until Little Miss sorted out the clues that she could figure out who was innocent.  Little Miss loved having the cases to solve.  She stuck with them and had fun trying to figure them out.  I think 4th grade and up is a very accurate age range for this book because it does require deeper concentration and careful reading.
We definitely recommend Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 if you want to work on critical thinking skills.  We will be checking out the other resources that The Critical Thinking Co.™ has to offer so that I can find the next book for Little Miss to work on.  The Critical Thinking Co.™ has been very generous to offer my readers a coupon code to get 15% off and free shipping so see the picture above for details.  You can learn more about all the different books and products The Critical Thinking Co.™ has to offer on their website, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.  You can learn about the Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 we received by clicking here.  Please check out the reviews of all the books the Homeschool Review Crew got a chance to review by clicking the banner below because we all got to review different books.  I know I will check out their reviews to see what book we should order while we have such a great offer from The Critical Thinking Co.™ .
Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}

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