"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." ~Romans 12:2 NKJV~

Monday, June 4, 2018

Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™} Review

Training students to have good critical thinking skills seems to be a lost art in public schools today. Because of the cookie cutter approach to education, many students leave school without the ability to truly discern what is really true or false. Majority of what is taught in schools these days is for the purpose of fitting a particular agenda and geared towards getting everyone to think the same way. With public schools being anti-God, this is very dangerous for children growing up in Christian homes because they are being led away from the absolute Biblical truth. We work to help our teenage son to build up his critical thinking skills so he won’t just believe whatever someone tells him. I love the concept behind The Critical Thinking Co.™ so I eagerly choose to review Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary to help sharpen his ability to be a critical thinker.

The Critical Thinking Co.
The Critical Thinking Co.™ has been in the business of making products for students grades PreK-12+ that aid in helping them develop their thinking skills. Since 1958 products from The Critical Thinking Co. like riddles, puzzles, games, lessons, ect. have helped sharpen student’s minds “as they teach standards-based reading, writing, math, science, and history”. The company’s aim and mission is to “empower the mind”, thus developing students’ critical thinking, instead of “teaching through drill and memorization”.  By “producing a deeper understanding of their lessons, your student will be able to understand what they learn and why something is the way it is”. To learn more about The Critical Thinking Co.™ be sure to visit their about us page.

Book Cover

The Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary is geared towards students in grades 5-12+. It costs $8.99 and is available for purchase in paperback or digital eBook format. We received the digital eBook to review. This is a student book with all the answers to the cases (on the last 12 pages). There is a system requirement for this product. It only works on Windows Operating System (OS) at this time. After your purchase, you need to go to the download section of your account to open and download your product. You will also get an email with a serial number key that you don’t want to misplace because you need it to get into your file. They also send an email with the download link if you missed it in your account after purchase. Once opened you will see a program pop up where you need to type in that serial number key to access the eBook.

The Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary is a fun way to learn new vocabulary words. It is a 38 page secure PDF “filled with easy-to-use detective cases where students must identify the meaning of new vocabulary words as they try to uncover clues about the guilty suspects hidden within the statements”. They must carefully read and synthesize each case to determine who’s innocent or guilty. This helps them develop better reading comprehension, observation skills, ect. Within the pages of this eBook are 12 cases for the student to solve. The answers can be typed in on the computer, or you can print them out to work on/fill in the answers. Here are snippets of the worksheets you get:

A Case

Vocabulary Worksheet

This is not a full curriculum. You can use it as a supplement alongside other subjects. To help with solving the mysteries there was a page with these tips:

How to Solve Mysteries
Critical Thinking Detective
I love and agree with this quote from the company president:

"If we teach children everything we know, their knowledge is limited to ours. If we teach children to think, their knowledge is limitless." - Michael Baker, President

Solving a Mystery
My 18.5 year old son said he enjoyed working to solve the cases. It was really challenging for him and would take up to 2 days just to work on a case with the accompanying vocabulary worksheet. He would work on these around an hour each day then he needed to give his mind a break, and pick back up the next day on whatever was left to do. He was able to do at least two cases a week. Even though he has a learning disability, this was good for helping the development of his critical thinking skills. He loves to watch old episodes of “Columbo”. When he worked to solve these cases he would use a small notepad (see in the pic above) to write down hints and clues on it like Columbo did on the show. Then he would use the process of elimination to exonerate suspects to come up with who he thought was the guilty party.

I believe he struggled the most with the vocabulary sheet due to his learning challenges, but we worked through those together whenever he would get stuck on some words. The answer sheets provided where helpful for knowing the appropriate synonyms for the vocabulary words. Once I shared that with him he was able to successfully redo a lot of the questions on his own. It was also helpful how they showed a breakdown of how each innocent suspect was eliminated, and why the remaining suspect was guilty. Some of the other products reviewed by the Homeschool Review Crew are:

Understanding Pre-Algebra
Critical Thinking Detective Book 1
Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha
Dare to Compare Level 1
Vocabulary Riddles Book 1

The Critical Thinking Co. has provided me with the following coupon and offers for my readers:

Free Critical Thinking Puzzles!
A $75 Value! Delivered weekly to your inbox. Choose PreK – Grade 8. Sign Up Now!

Special Offer from CriticalThinking.com!
To get Free Shipping + 15% off any size order see the coupon code and the expiration date in the below photo.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review. You can also check out my past Critical Thinking Co. review of a different product. Other Crew members reviewed one of the other products I mentioned above from The Critical Thinking Co.™  Click on the banner below to read their thoughts.

Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}

To learn more about The Critical Thinking Co.™ be sure to visit them at these Social Media platforms:

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