I have looked at the website for The Critical Thinking Co. many times before. They have products from preschool on up, and every resource helps to sharpen the student’s mind and have fun doing it. They have a mission of making children better problem-solvers. My 4th grader got to review the book Editor in Chief Level 1. This book is for students at the 4th-5th grade level and helps them to practice fixing grammar and punctuation mistakes just like they are a real Editor in Chief.
This softback book has a total of 132 pages, which includes 12 lessons, each followed by four passages. The lesson is a brief overview of the skill being put to the test. This makes a quick review for older students or a short lesson for those kids that might not have learned the concept outright prior to this book. I have found that my daughter has passively learned many things, but having the explicit rules and distinctions available helps her to retain the knowledge and focus.
Students are challenged to identify the errors in the passages. These errors are in mechanics, grammar, or spelling. There is the option for the student to rewrite the corrected passage below. There are also bubbles for the student to fill in as they find the errors. This helps to keep track of how many have been completed and how many mistakes are still at large in the text.
There are also mini reviews after every 3 lessons and a cumulative review as the last few passages. These reviews have bubbles for them to fill in to mark off the ones they have found, and they tell the student what type of mistake they must find. For example, they might need to find 2 Capitalization mistakes, 1 Verb, 1 Homophone, and 1 Run-On Sentence.
The back of the book has a comprehensive Answer Key which shows the passage rewritten correctly, corrections in bold and listed below with the reasoning as well.
How We Used This
My daughter loved doing these exercises. A few times a week, I asked her to complete one passage. If it was the beginning of a lesson, we briefly read over the lesson together first, and then she would do the passage.
I chose to allow her to mark right onto the book to make her corrections. However, I could have instead made copies to preserve the book a while longer as this book is reproducible. It is an even greater value when used with multiple students, whether all at once or over the years.
She enjoyed doing the work of a real editor and usually asked if she could complete more than one. Once, she got on a roll and did 4 in one sitting! I loved that the lessons seemed informal. They were brief and to the point. This workbook has no fluff.
Having the bubbles to fill in as the problems were found was great. I loved that she was able to pay attention better because she knew when she would be done with the page. She never stared blankly, hoping that she was done. She could simply look at how many mistakes the book said there would be and keep working until she found them. This made the book work very independent for her, which she prefers.
I could have had her check her own work, but I know that seeing the answers of various other problems would be too tempting for her. When she said she was done, I looked in the back of the book to check her answers and corrected any errors she made by crossing out anything that was incorrect and allowing her to try again. Sometimes I gave hints to help her to identify the mistake.
I hope to have my daughter finish this over the next few weeks. We have been using this as a quick exercise after lunch to launch her back into school-mode after we have eaten. It has worked well because it is fun, but still helps her to practice technical skills that help her with her own writing.
Editor in Chief Level 1 currently retails for $19.99. I agree with the grade range of 4th-5th grade as the skills were right on par with what my daughter has been learning in her language arts curriculum. Follow The Critical Thinking Co. Facebook for current information.
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