A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away (or at least many years and several counties) I began teaching a fifth-grade classroom. Much has changed in the classroom since then, but Evan-Moor products were there with me then and are still part of my resource library today. Now that I am a homeschooling mom, I still enjoy using their resources. Most recently I was given a copy of The Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners: Critical Thinking, Grade 6 to review with my daughter.
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I chose this book out of the wide variety of skill sharpener books, because critical thinking is an area we are working on with my daughter. She is very smart but doesn’t always like to have to think critically and figure out the answer to questions or riddles. My goal is to help her think through problems using logic and critical thinking skills.
When the book arrived one of the first things I noticed was that it was bright and colorful. This made the book much more inviting for students. In addition to bright colorful pictures and pages, the colors on the pages represented the subject matter that was being covered helping to visually break the book into various subject areas.
When I started looking over this book to determine what I needed to do to get my daughter started and what she would need from me, I was delighted to see that it was a very ‘open and go’ type of program. The parent (or teacher) can simply open the book and begin without time consuming preparations. As a busy homeschooling mom of four, this made using it a lot easier. All I needed to do was decide which pages I wanted my daughter to do and give her the assignment. There was even an answer key provided in the back that made it super simple for me to check her work and provide feedback.
After looking over the book a bit I decided that I would let my daughter choose which activities she would complete each week. I gave her an assignment of two activities per week but she could choose which two to complete. This was a supplemental activity for us and I loved that it was so easy for me to adapt to our needs. If she had been struggling in a certain area, I could have picked those activities, or I could have had her work straight through the book. However, I felt like the ability to choose gave her more ownership in the process.
The book was split into four main sections: Animal Kingdom, Time, Technology, and Places. Then each section had activities that worked on various skills such as “Read All About It”, “Tell What You Know”, “Solve”, “Compute”, “Apply”, “Create” and more. These activities included reading passages, questions about the topic, riddles, puzzles, math problems, word finds, unscramble activities, and more.
An example of one of the questions was “Jason made a batch of brownies, but he did not eat any of them. Give 5 possible reasons.” This makes the student think about various scenarios in which you would bake brownies without eating them. Another activity gave a word bank of words related to ancient Rome. The student then had to group the words into groups of three and explain how the grouping was related. My daughter’s favorite activity so far was an activity called “What Letter” in which she had to solve clues to find each letter and when put together the letters created the answer to a joke about sharks.
Overall, I was very pleased with the layout and color of the book, the ease of use and minimal teacher prep that was needed, and how easy it was to adapt to our needs. I feel like this program will help my daughter build critical thinking skills which are so important in life. In addition to The Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners: Critical Thinking, Grade 6 book, there are books available for kindergarten through sixth grade. They also have the skill sharpeners books for other subjects including math, reading, science, and spelling. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to supplement your curriculum, review week areas, or strengthen critical thinking skills I highly recommend this series. You can find out more and purchase them directly from Evan Moor (they are having a BOGO sale on them right now) or from Amazon.
I received a FREE copy of this product through from Evan Moor in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
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