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Recently my husband and I were chatting about how this homeschool year went. We discussed what worked, what didn’t, and what we want to see more of next year. One thing he mentioned was that he would like to see us do more logic exercises. My husband majored in computer science and minored in math, so it is important to him that we include this sort of thing in our children’s educations. The very next day I learned about the opportunity to review the Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 by The Critical Thinking Co.™. Perfect timing!
The Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 contains 12 logic puzzles in the form of detective cases to solve. It is recommended for grades 4-12, which makes it perfect for my 4th and 7th graders. Students apply their critical thinking skills and logical reasoning to solve cases such as The Lunch Money Thief, The Necklace Thief, and The Football Thief.
Each case consists of a few short paragraphs describing the case, witness statements, and statements from each of the four suspects. There are illustrations of the suspects too, so kids are reading for logic clues and observing visual clues or discrepancies.
How we used Critical Thinking Detective Book 1
I don’t do a traditional morning time basket, but do keep a few things handy to entice my kids to the dining room table. Over the last few weeks, we started most of our school mornings together working through the Critical Thinking Detective logic puzzles. There are 12 puzzles in Book 1 and we worked straight through the book.
My kids are both within the target grade level for this book so they worked out the problems together. I read the puzzles aloud while they listened and studied the illustrations. I certainly could have given them each their own problems to solve, but I really enjoyed watching them discuss why they thought certain suspects were innocent and others were guilty. They pointed out details they noticed that defended their answers. Occasionally they argued over suspects. Solving the puzzles together required them to verbalize their thought process.
Each case includes a page to write sentences explaining why suspects are innocent or guilty. I didn’t require my kids to write in complete sentences because I was more interested in making sure they were studying the details of the case than writing. Instead, I had them list the clues that supported their argument. My kids took turns writing down the clues for each suspect.
After we finished working through a case, we would check the answer in the back of the book. I really liked that an explanation was given along with the answer. This was particularly helpful when we got a problem wrong. We were able to study the answer and see what clues we had overlooked.
What to do after Critical Thinking Detective Book 1?
We really enjoyed working through the Critical Thinking Detective Book 1, so I am on the hunt for our next book from The Critical Thinking Co.™. There is a book 2 in the Detective series, but I think we will branch out and try something else for the summer. At the moment, I am leaning towards the Math Detective series, but I am going to poke around on The Critical Thinking Co.™ website a bit more before deciding. There are so many awesome options!
The Critical Thinking Co.™ is offering two gifts for my readers:
Free Critical Thinking Puzzles! – This gift is valued at $75, but is completely free for you! Sign up and receive a free critical thinking puzzle each week. Choose which Pre-k-8th grade level you would like to receive..
Free shipping and 15% off any size order! – Use the coupon code TOSCREW18. Offer expires 12/31/18.
One of the great things about these books is that they make kids think without the structure of traditional core curriculum lessons. They are a fantastic way to keep kids minds engaged over summer break – even if they are not homeschooled.
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