Homeschooling

A Review of Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners Critical Thinking- Grade 2

evan-moor critical thinking book review

I was recently given the opportunity to review Evan-Moor’s Skill Sharpeners Critical Thinking for second grade! I was given the book in exchange for my honest review!

Evan-Moor is my go-to for quality books to enrich our homeschool. I was so excited to have the chance to review Skill Sharpeners Critical Thinking because we have absolutely LOVED all of the Skill Sharpener books we have used in the past. To check out my review on Skill Sharpeners Geography click here.

WHAT EXACTLY ARE SKILL SHARPENER BOOKS?

Evan-Moor’s Skill Sharpeners are one of my favorite series they make. They are colorful, engaging, and well-organized books that my kids absolutely love! Skill Sharpeners are designed to help children master and retain skills. They are for grades Pre-K through Grade 6! Skill Sharpeners are available in the following subjects:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Geography
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Spell & Write

A PEEK INSIDE SKILL SHARPENERS CRITICAL THINKING

The first thing I noticed when I opened this book is a letter to the child. It explains to them why thinking is important, what thinking skills are, and how a thinker behaves. I love this because it gives the child a basis for using the book. It lets them know that throughout the following pages they are going to be practicing their skills to become a better thinker!

As I mentioned early, Skill Sharpener books are extremely well organized. Below is a photo of the table of contents. The book is divided into 4 main sections:

  1. Animals
  2. My Body
  3. Things
  4. Places

Table of contents

Each section begins with a reading passage. We have so enjoyed these. My son is 7.5 and is just beginning to gain confidence with his reading…and these passages have been PERFECT for him. They are interesting, short, and informative…a winning combo in my book!

Critical Thinking Reading Passage

Following the reading passage, you will find all different types of activities. Things you can look forward to seeing are:

  • Word Searches
  • Word Problems
  • Games
  • Coloring
  • Mazes
  • Graphing
  • Puzzles
  • Craft Projects
  • So much more!

sample pages

sample pages

WHY WE LOVE SKILL SHARPENERS CRITICAL THINKING

  1. FUN Topics– Max has absolutely LOVED the topics included in Skill Sharpeners Critical Thinking…topics such as Alligators, Bugs, and Oceans are right up his alley!
  2. FUN Activities– Did I mention that this book is fun? The activities included aren’t dull or boring…they get him thinking but they do it in a way he enjoys which is such a huge plus!
  3. Hands-on Learning– yes, this is a workbook…but each section includes a hands-on activity that allows them to cut and craft something. This was Max’s favorite part!
  4. Grade level appropriate– Max and I both loved that this was something that was created just for him. Both of his older sisters have their own Skill Sharpener Books and he was overjoyed to have one created just for him! The reading passages were perfect for his age as well!
  5. Answer Key– We loved the inclusion of an answer key at the back of the book. It was a great resource to teach Max how to check his own work!

 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION!

As I mentioned above, Skill Sharpener books are available in a variety of subjects as well as a variety of age groups! They are also an amazing value at only $9.99! I highly recommend these to anyone looking to enrich a specific subject in their homeschool! They have been such a valuable resource for us! Stay tuned for a new post soon on Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners Science Grade 4! I am SO excited to share that one with you!!!

To shop for Evan-More Skill Sharpener books just click here!

 

Here is a great video from Evan-Moor featuring the Skill Sharpeners Critical Thinking books!

 

To check out my post on Skill Sharpeners Geography Grade 4 head on over to…

http://homeschoolbythebeach.com/2018/09/21/a-review-of-evan-moors-skill-sharpeners-geography-for-4th-grade/

Max with book
My Happy Second Grader!

 

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Homeschooling

A Review of Evan-Moor’s Reading Comprehension Fundamentals Grade 6

Evan Moor Reading Comprehension Fundamentals Grade 6

I was recently given the chance to review Evan-Moor’s Reading Comprehension Fundamentals for Grade 6. I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review. As a huge fan of Evan-Moor products, I again jumped at the chance to try this product and can’t wait to share it with you!

As a family of books worms, reading is a huge part of our school day. We start every day with a read aloud, have a book based history and geography curriculum, and the kids read for an hour to themselves every day! With that being said, we havent really implemented any sort of formal reading comprehension assessment!

Reading Comprehension Fundamentals is designed to be used in conjunction with Daily Reading Comprehension. In hindsight I should have printed off the Daily Reading Comprehension from my TeacherFileBox online subscription but I didn’t think of it at the time! Having said that, I still think it is a wonderful resource for increasing your students’ comprehension!

WHAT IS READING COMPREHENSION FUNDAMENTALS ALL ABOUT?

Reading Comprehension Fundamentals is organized into 35 units that aim to work on a specific reading skill, text structure, reading strategy, or genre. The book is organized into 4 main units:

  • Comprehension Activities for Nonfiction Texts
  • Nonfiction Genre Study
  • Comprehension Activities for Fiction Texts
  • Fiction Genre Study

The book can be used to supplement your current curriculum, can be used as a way to reinforce concepts that your students may be struggling with, or a core reading resource. We have been using Reading Comprehension Fundamentals as a way to reinforce concepts with my daughter, but I honestly think that it would make an amazing guideline to plan lessons out of.

UNIT ORGANIZATION

Each of the 35 units in Reading Comprehension Fundamentals is organized into 4 sections:

  1. Instructional Activity Page- each unit will contain one or two instructional activity pages. These pages will teach a specific concept or skill and will allow the students to respond in a variety of formats…some of which include multiple choice, open-ended items, and constructed responses.
  2. Text Selection- The texts selections will be either Fiction or Non-Fiction depending on the section they are included in. They are written to complement the specific skill being taught.
  3. Text-Based Activity Page- similar to the Instructional Activity Page, this page will allow the students to respond in numerous different ways. This page will have text to read that corresponds to the specific skill being taught.
  4. Unit Review- I love that each unit will end with a review. This is such a great tool to assess the students mastery of the specific topic or rule.

Here are some sample pages from a unit on Vocabulary!

sample page
The first page introduces the term to be studied…in this case “vocabulary”. We love the combo of multiple choice and open ended questions.

 

sample page 2
The second page offers more tips on vocabulary as well as an additional reading passage and questions.
sample page
My daughter really loved the large reading passages. She found the topics so interesting and was so excited to share her new knowledge with us. We had lots of conversations that started with…”Did you know…” 🙂
Sample Page
Questions from the previous reading passage
sample page
Finally we come to the review! The reviews are an awesome assessment tool and a great way to have the student show what they have learned! Answer key is in the back as well!

TOPICS COVERED

So, what topics can you expect to be covered in Reading Comprehension Fundamentals? I am so impressed by the wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction items that are covered. Here is a photo from the Table of Contents that shows you how things are organized and what topics you can expect. I LOVE that it includes genre study because that is something we will be learning about a lot this year.

Table of contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I am really pleased with Reading Comprehension Fundamentals! I think it is a very well thought out, well put together, comprehensive book that can easily be used to supplement your current reading curriculum, reinforce areas where your student needs extra help, or even as a jumping off point for planning your own curriculum!

My daughter thought that the reading passages were very interesting! She was especially impressed at the presence of some Greek topics…her favorite subject. Since beginning to use this book she is always coming to us to share some new facts or information! I am so thankful that the topics included are interesting and presented in such a way that she is not only retaining the information…but she is actually interested in what she is reading! Such a huge plus for this homeschool Mama!!

We love that there is an answer key provided at the back. Really helped my daughter to be able to check her work!

We do wish that the book had a glossary at the back to aid in looking up terms, but each term is extremely well defined at the top of the page in their specific section. I also like that the definition is repeated at the top of the page several times throughout each unit…really reinforces the subject for the student!

The last thing I want to mention is both a pro and a con depending on where you are coming from. The book is black and white which is wonderful if you are using it for more than one child and want to make copies! Since I am using it for just one child and don’t plan to copy it, I do wish that it was in color. There are some photos that I think would pop more if they were in color…but I do realize that for classroom teachers and homeschoolers using the book for multiple children, being in color would be impractical.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

As with all of the other products we have tried from Evan-Moor, I highly recommend adding this one to your homeschool. Very well done! I also highly recommend checking out Evan-Moor’s amazing Skill Sharpeners Books. Check out my post on Skill Sharpeners Geography Grade 4!

In addition to Reading Comprehension Fundamentals, you can find Language Fundamentals (I have a blog post in the works!), Math Fundamentals, and Vocabulary Fundamentals! Head on over to http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-8828052-13435687 or click the link below to grab a copy for your homeschool!

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