I often do not realize that there are important subjects that students need for school. I sometimes get focused on math, spelling, and reading that I fail to think about the importance of critical thinking. Being that Isaiah is an official high schooler this year, I was pleased to review Practical Critical Thinking for Grades 9-12+ from The Critical Thinking Co. Thank goodness this review also offered the Teacher’s Manual because I sure needed it!
It was interesting the information that Isaiah and I both learned form this course review. Now I remember why we teach more than just the 3R’s.
Practical Critical Thinking for Grades 9-12+ is pretty much a Do-It-Yourself course. At least in my opinion. The book is a large, glossy 8.5 x 11 paper back. It is primarily filled with “brain games” (as Isaiah would say) that are used to see wether you are learning to recognize and apply your new found critical thinking skills.
There are brief written sections that provide some details about the topic in the section but ultimately the book is designed to engage the student. Emotion is a strong factor in how we learn and retain information, so using this technique with the adolescent brain, it makes it quite an effective tool for teaching and learning.
By encouraging the student to read then participate in the same type of study, it allows the critical thing skills to be put to use. Essentially embedding the information into the brain for future recall. The depth and the meaning behind the course provides a means for the young students brain to make stronger connections to the provided material.
When completing the “brain games” it furthers cements the process for the adolescent brain. Therefore it not only stretches and expands their thinking but it provides the usage of the skill making it easier to apply in the future.
Here are some games that are used in the book:
- Thought Experiments
- Student Polls
- Practice Sessions
- Games and Puzzles
The Teacher’s Manual is basically the answers to all of the questions asked in the student book. It too is a large glossy 8.5 x 11 paper backed book. Again, this course is based primarily on each student’s thoughts and ideas. There was a lot of “Answers Will Vary” for the student work. It also has reproducibles in the back of the book that would be beneficial to use in a Co-Op or Classroom setting. It was helpful as a guide for the course. I was glad to have all of the answers in one place.
How This worked for Us
Isaiah used this book more or less on his own. When he would come to a section that required “group discussion” I was the group. It was fairly simple for him to understand what was required of him in his book.
He is by far my one children that loves any thing that has to do with understanding the brain and why it functions. This course was wonderful for him as it helped him to grasp a deeper meaning of learning to see things as they are and not just as they are intended.
Isaiah learned more about what is fact vs. opinion as well as the concept of possible, probable, and proven. He enjoyed reading the short examples and then working on the questions and answers. Some times he was surprised to learn that he wasn’t correct (typical teenage brain moments) and how the short stories actually panned out.
He has recently started on how emotional words and arguments are important factors in every day speak. Which is proving extremely useful with a pre-teen sister in the house!
Overall this is a fun course that we have throughly enjoyed and look forward to finishing. I appreciate the fact that Isaiah has enjoyed it because that usually means that he is truly learning!
There are a bunch more products that are available from this company, so please feel free to visit and check them out.
Now, visit my fellow Crew members to see what products they reviewed from The Critical Thinking Co.:
Check back soon to see what else we have to share with you!
In His Grace.