Sunday, December 19, 2010

Three Critical Thinking selections from Timberdoodle

"Jen told her friends that what she does for a living takes strength, skill, patience, determination and lots of guts.  What does she do?"

Curious to know the answer?????  Please read on.....

The following selections and more can be found at Timberdoodle.

Word Roots - Latin & Greek
Word Roots - Latin & Greek

Word Roots B1 Grades 7+
I love learning that is straight to the point.  Critical Thinking's Word Roots is just that for decoding words for vocabulary, spelling  and comprehension by teaching Latin and Greek prefixes, roots and suffixes.

The student is given Latin and Greek elements broken down into prefix, roots and suffix.
Each worksheet consists of the following:
1.  First identify the elements in the English words (decode)
2.  Match each given word to its' correct meaning (vocab)
3.  Select the correct word to complete an unfinished sentence.  (comprehension)

We started this series with my 7th grader last year with book A1 and A2.  He loves being able to work independently and joyfully does his Word Roots.  I love how straight forward it is and how much it has improved his spelling and ability to decode new and complex words!

Visual Perception Skills
Visual Perception Skills
Visual Perceptual Skill Building Book 2 Grades 2-4
One thing I love about The Critical Thinking Company is that they do include thorough directions with all their products.  First, in using Visual Perceptual Skill Building, administer the pretests for all 8 sections. (Which include:  Visual Motor Integration, Discrimination, Closure, Figure Ground, Form Constancy, Memory, Sequential Memory, and Spatial Relationships)  This sounds like a lot, but, it really goes quickly.  From there you score each section to see if additional work is needed within that section.  (If there is not, there's no need to complete that particular section)

From the book:
"The emphasis is on the development of visual perceptual skills necessary in today's world of academic learning, computers and early career skills".

Visual perception is among the last skills a child develops.  Abilities such as concentration and behavioral organization are an essential part of academic learning capacity.  Good neurological integration contributes to self-esteem, self-confidence and self-control.  None of the aforementioned functions develop at exclusively one age;  rather, the child works at each level of sensory integration throughout childhood."

I administered the pre-test to my 2nd and 4th graders.  My 4th grader needed just a wee-bit of help in two areas.  I wasn't too surprised to find that my 2nd grader needed a small bit of help in 4 areas.  But, I was surprised to see her outscore her brother on the Visual Sequential Memory!  The pretest also pointed out a slight problem in drawing matching geometric shapes.  Since the book gives VERY good guidance in pinpointing problems and how to proceed, I trust that after remedial work in only these trouble areas will produce success as will be shown in the post tests that are also provided.

Red Herring Mysteries
Red Herring Mysteries

Red Herring Mysteries Level 1 Grade 4-6
From the book:
"Designed to improve your child's problem solving skills and refine their ability to apply logical deductive reasoning."

In other words, these mysteries encourage your child to think outside the box while having a lot of fun!

The beginning of the book gives more details on the "how to" question process and also on the variety of venues where this book can be used.  The basic rules are simple - players phrase their questions so that the reader can answer with either a yes or no.  The reader may give hints to redirect thinking or stimulate new questions. 

In our home, we used it for dinnertime fun with Hubby, my 7th, 4th and 2nd graders present.  Don't let the grade level marked on the book fool you.  Some of the mysteries my 2nd grader got and some of them my Hubby got.  Simply put, based on the correlation between different uses of the same word -AND- the ability to follow a line of questioning can make all the difference in who solves each mystery.

This book was a hit!  I think it would make a great party/get-together game too.

Above selections and more can be found at Timberdoodle.

Last but not least, the initial quote of this posting is from the Red Herring Mysteries .  I thank you so very much for reading this far.  I'd love to tell you the answer, but first you need to ask me a question that I can answer with a "yes" or "no"....please submit your questions below and I will be sure to answer.

Come on, try it - it's a lot of fun!

I received these books free of charge in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Oh, you are SO mean! You did just what I would do but, sigh, I just wanted the answer. LOL

  2. I didn't mean to be mean....ok, maybe a bit mischievious ;-)