Editor In Chief {A Critical Thinking Review}

3/13/2015

Critical Thinking Company Review
As a member of the Crew, I got to do a review for The Critical Thinking Co.! I've had my eye on this one ever since I had Malachi take the Stanford Achievement Test. I thought it would be great to use for exam prep! 

Critical Thinking Company Review

Appropriately titled Grammar Disasters and Punctuation Faux Pas, Editor in Chief Level 1 is the first book in a series that teaches grammar and mechanics one skill at a time by having your student make corrections. I thought this would be great practice for Malachi.


Skills included in Level 1:
  1. Content
  2. Capitalization
  3. Punctuation
  4. Spelling Rules
  5. Nouns and Pronouns
  6. Adjectives, Adverbs, Articles
  7. Verbs
  8. Agreement
  9. Conjunctions, Prepositions, and Interjections
  10. Confusing Word Pairs/negative Words
  11. Homophones and Homographs
  12. Run-On Sentences and Sentence Fragments

The focus of this series is to learn to apply these rules in context by correcting or editing the errors in a paragraph. Each skill is taught individually, and a mini review is given every three lessons incorporating skills learned, followed by 2 section reviews and a final review.

Most corrections involve inserting, modifying, deleting punctuation marks, capitals or single words within the paragraph, or correcting sentence structure. Students then have the option of rewriting the passage without errors.

The answer key is in the back of the book. We needed it! Some of them were tough to find!

How we used it:



I used it for individual instruction with my 4th grader, Malachi, to reinforce, practice skills, and get ready for assessment tests.

I added this to his independent work and scheduled it in 3-4 days a week. I thought it would make a great addition to his language arts, and also thought it would be great to have another subject that he can work on independently. I was right! I really loved that he could work on this independently for the most part. He did need a little help from me, and I needed a little help from the answer key! But, it was usually just one or two mistakes we couldn't find.


The first section on Content had him read a paragraph and correct the information in the paragraph by comparing it to the information in the caption below the picture. At first we didn't know what to do. We read the paragraph and didn't see any mistakes! I had to look at the teacher answer key to see what was wrong. We had to make sure the information in the paragraph matched the information in the caption. Some directions on the first lesson would be nice. After we knew what to do, the second lesson was much easier.


The rewrite is optional, so I let him choose one passage a week to write out. Even so, he wrote half of lesson 2 before he was tired and wanted a break.

The skill for Lesson 2: Capitalization was pretty cut and dry and easy to figure out. It starts by covering all the capitalization rules and then Malachi had to find the capitalization error in a paragraph. I love that each lesson includes check off bubbles so he knows how many errors he has to find.

Lesson 3 was on Punctuation. Again, all the punctuation rules are give in the first lesson, and then he had to find the punctuation errors in the paragraphs.

The first Mini review covered the first three skills and was a little harder, but great for reinforcing those skills!

Lesson 4 was on Spelling Rules. There are a lot of rules, and we have covered many, but not all of them, in our spelling program. I read through these with him and rephrased some of the rules to ones that he is familiar with. He did pretty good in this section, but I sat with him through each lesson to help.

We made it through Lesson 5: Nouns and Pronouns. He did most of these independently, coming to me for help as needed. We are on Lesson 6: Adjectives, Adverbs, and Articles, but the lessons are all very similar - just a different skill. I had hoped to get him through this lesson by the end of the review period so he could do the next Mini Review and the big Review for Lessons 1-6, but we were on vacation for 2 weeks during the review. Looking at it, though, it gets progressively harder, so I think he would have needed help during the review, as he would have had to find up to 8 different types of errors!

This book is designed for grades 4-5, and since Malachi is in grade 4, I plan to finish through the Review for Lessons 1-6 (half way through) and then shelve it until 5th grade. I do plan to keep using it, though! I think it's a great way to practice editing skills, but it also covers skills we haven't learned yet, so it gives me a good idea of what he may need to know by the end of 5th grade. I really like that!

Read more Critical Thinking product reviews by my Crewmates here!

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