11/11/15

Practical Critical Thinking for High School {Crew Review}

The Critical Thinking Co. has been a part of my homeschool since Boobear, now a college junior, was a preschooler. Having loved every single product that I have ever purchased or reviewed, I knew I wanted to try Practical Critical Thinking for grades 9-12+ with Tailorbear. We also received the Teacher’s Manual.

The Critical Thinking Co.

The Critical Thinking Co.

Just as their company name implies this is publisher focuses on materials that builds and develops critical thinking skills. What is Critical Thinking? Critical Thinking is the ability to identify and evaluate evidence in order to make a decision. If you would like to know more about critical thinking you can read these articles and advice from The Critical Thinking Co.

This family run business began with John Baker in 1958 as a math and textbook company. Today, under the guidance of his son, Michael Baker, the company offers over 200 titles! They are dedicated to helping children and families. Did you know that they donate two or more products to a child in need for every order they receive?

Practical Thinking

This is a thick book! It is 378 pages! And it is full color. These pages are beautiful, colorful, and eye catching. There is an illustration, image, or photo on nearly every page.

Cover Image Practical Critical Thinking for Grades 9-12+

This consumable work text is written directly to the student and is ideal for group situations such as a classroom or co-op but my daughter and I found that she could use it on her own and then meet once a week or so with me for discussion. I do think the group activities enhance the material but certainly do not prevent a single student from gaining critical thinking skills. Having an adult to discuss the materials is vital and so I do not recommend this as a completely independent self-study course.

Did I mention how loaded this book is?  The information is divided into four units:

  • Becoming a Critical Thinker
  • Adding to My Critical Thinking Toolbox
  • Critical Thinking and Arguments
  • Applying my Critical Thinking

Each unit is divided into 2 chapters and each chapter is broken down into bite size pieces or lessons. Each chapter includes from 7 to 10 Lessons. No matter how many lessons are included, every chapter ends with these as the final three lessons:

  • Chapter Summary & Important Takeaways
  • Individual Activities
  • Group Activities and Discussion

Teacher’s Manual

Teacher's Manual: Practical Critical Thinking

The Teacher’s Manual for Practical Critical Thinking is divided into two parts.  Part One is Answers. This part alone makes the Teacher’s Manual worthwhile and necessary for me. I found myself reaching for the Answers on more than one occasion when helping Tailorbear with an activity or when discussing the activity. I don’t think we would be able to successfully use Practical Critical Thinking without this guide! Granted many many of the “answers” were “Answers will vary.”  But that is not the part I found so important. What I relied on were the explanations that started out with “It is important that students . . . “ because those statements helped me to understand what my daughter was supposed to get out of the activity.

Part Two is Reproducible Activities. These are the exact same pages as the full color work text but they are black and white and do not have the photos. It has some illustrations but not nearly as many as the full color book.

Like many of their other products, The Critical Thinking Co. has granted a license for purchasers to reproduce or copy Practical Critical Thinking. Because it is full color and there are so many pages, if you would like to reproduce the activities, I would recommend copying the Reproducible Activities from the Teacher’s Manual.

This is a wonderful course for high school students and I recommend that all college bound high schoolers complete this workbook. Not only will it improve high school studies, it will prepare students to be able to think critically when in college! 

The Details:

 

The Critical Thinking Company Review

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You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews to find more great products.

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