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Building Thinking Skills® Beginning 1

Question and Answer Activities to Improve Academic Performance

Grades: Toddler-PreK

Critical Thinking

Full Curriculum

Grades: Toddler-PreK

Critical Thinking

Full Curriculum

  •  Multiple Award Winner
**Optional Attribute Blocks sold separately for this product.**

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Attribute Blocks

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Description & Features

This colorful, fun 224-page book develops critical thinking skills necessary for success in reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and standardized tests. It also teaches many academic concepts and skills taught in kindergarten and first grade.  

The fun, highly-effective and engaging reasoning activities improve the vocabulary, pre-reading, pre-writing, math, logic, spatial, and auditory processing skills of preschoolers. It teaches students to use organized analysis instead of guesswork to solve problems. The book may be used as a complete critical thinking curriculum to prepare young minds for preschool academics.

  • Visual Tracking
  • Visual Constancy
  • Visual Motor Skills
  • Spatial Relationships
  • Auditory Processing
  • Auditory Memory
  • Fine Motor Skill Development
  • Inferential Reasoning/Prediction
  • Deduction
  • Identifying Similarities & Differences
  • Classifying
  • Identifying Sequences
  • Completing Analogies
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Colors
  • Logical Connectives (And, Or)
  • Lines (Straight, Curved, Straight and Curved)
  • Open & Closed Figures
  • Corners
  • Geometric Shapes (Circle, Triangle, Rectangle, Square)
  • Behind & In-Between
  • Above & Below
  • Measurement (Longer, Longest, Shorter, Shortest, Larger, Largest, Smaller, Smallest)
  • Half & Whole
  • Left & Right

Teaching Support
Activities are modeled to reinforce reasoning skills and concepts. Building Thinking Skills® Beginning may be used with attribute blocks (optional). See components sold separately above for ordering information for these manipulatives.

Product Details

Item#: 05233PBP
Author(s): Michael Baker and Stephanie Stevens
TOC: View Table Of Contents
Type: Student Book
Media: Paperback Book
License: Reproducible
ISBN–10: 0-89455-911-7
ISBN–13: 978-0-89455-911-2
Pages: 224, Color (Perforated)


2014 Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards™ - 3rd Place, Logic Category 2015 Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards™ - 2nd Place, Logic Category Cathy Duffy 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum Cathy Duffy Top 100 Award Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence Award Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products Learning® Magazine Recommended Resource for Successful Teaching Learning® Magazine Teachers’ Choice Awards Mensa Recommended Materials for the Gifted Parent Tested, Parent Approved (PTPA) Seal of Approval Parent Tested, Parent Approved Winner's Seal Practical Homeschooling Magazine 2nd Place Reader Award The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval The Old Schoolhouse Magazine 1st Place 2012 Excellence in Education Award The Well-Trained Mind Recommended Resource for Logic and Critical Thinking

Product Reviews Write a review for this product

"I started purchasing The Critical Thinking Co.™ products when my children were toddlers. They were early readers so we wanted to reinforce their abilities with a structured program that we could continue for years. Building Thinking Skills® and Dr. DooRiddles were excellent products to jump start our children into formalized learning. And the best part is that they were having FUN while learning! Besides providing excellent educational material, The Critical Thinking Company™ has incomparable customer service. They have helped me order the appropriate products, install the software, and been a continuous source of encouragement throughout the years. I cannot imagine homeschooling without their products and support." - Liseetsa, OH
"2009 Teacher's Choice Award for the Family" - Reviewer, Learning® Magazine
"Transfer potential is high.…The amount of reinforcement is outstanding." - Reading Teacher
"We have been using Building Thinking Skills® for years and have found them invaluable in providing students with the mental tools they need to be enthusiastic learners." - Katherine, Ratanakiri, Cambodia
"Prepares students' minds for logic." - Nathaniel, Muscatine, IA
"Students who are still acquiring English face a lack of background knowledge in English and the skills necessary to process the new information. Building Thinking Skills® has helped me meet both these challenges, and I have test scores and happy faces to back this up." - Britta, ESL Department, Tucson, AZ
"Dear The Critical Thinking Company:
We decided to do a limited experiment with students in our school to see if Building Thinking Skills® would help them perform better on standardized and state tests. Last year I began to work directly with some of our students after school. The improvement was remarkable. Test scores went up even after the first few months we used the program. I'm totally sold on the program and will be ordering it for my school. I'd like to see Building Thinking Skills® for every child in every classroom to begin each day." - Sincerely,
Joel James, Principal Marshville Elementary School, Marshville, NC
"Dear The Critical Thinking Company:
Last year I took the responsibility of using Building Thinking Skills® with a number of our students as an experiment. In my 17 years in the district, I haven't seen anything work the way this program did. The improvement was phenomenal, especially for our at-risk populations and second-language students. It pulled them up in one year as I could not have imagined possible. We love it and are ordering it for our primary students and, in time, for the entire school." - Sincerely,
Gayle Polk, Guidance Counselor East Elementary School, Monroe, LA
"Looking for a way to help students exercise their mental muscles, organize their thinking, or increase their test scores? Check out Building Thinking Skills®! You'll find the boost you're looking for." - Reviewer, via the Internet
"I am a teacher at a small private school. I would like to purchase the Building Thinking Skills® series....We have a couple of students who I believe would greatly benefit from these materials. They are struggling in most of their subjects and have not been exposed to different ways of thinking and learning.
When I was homeschooling my own children a few years back, we went through the Building Thinking Skills® series and I was very impressed with the results. I would very much like to offer the same benefit to the struggling students in our school."" - Anita, Marion, IA
"As I was working on the activities with my children, I really had only one question: 'Where was Building Thinking Skills® when we were kids?'" - Elizabeth, Springfield, MO
"Don't miss out on these books. Each book has...a wide variety of fun and educational activities than can significantly improve a child's ability to think about problems rather than just mechanically apply a few memorized techniques. Because they contain such a large number of verbal and figural exercises, these books are a bargain. If you purchase just one supplementary book this year, this is the one to get." - Peggy Zorn, Harvest Home Educators Newsletter, Bedford, GA
"The ability to think clearly and to reason are equally as important as the ability to read or to write....[W]e have found the Building Thinking Skills® books to be the best of the various critical thinking products available." - Ellen, Crossville, TN
"If you're a parent who doesn't have this book, you need to get it. My daughters love to do Building Thinking Skills®, even my daughter who doesn't like to think. She took the Stanford Achievement Test recently and made a nearly perfect score on the thinking section, which was a great improvement." - Elizabeth, Montgomery, AL
"Because of my children's success, I am frequently asked to recommend teaching material. The one series I recommend is the Building Thinking Skills®. My children have had great success expanding their critical thinking abilities because of them. I have spent a lot of time reviewing teaching material, and I can honestly say that you offer a superior product." - Wendy, Lancaster, CA
"My daughter started with your Building Thinking Skills® and some of your other products when she was in the eighth grade. Now she`s a college senior in honors classes and I`m so glad I got her started with you as early as I did. She`s maintained her scholarship and her standing in a very competitive program." - Jane, Royal Palm Beach, FL
"I have two children with dyslexia who have both done fine academically, and we owe a good part of that success to the work they've put in throughout the years with Building Thinking Skills®." - Paula Scholtz, Braintree Education Center, TX
"My daughter is very bright and has a neurological learning disability. Her performance IQ may often be considerably below her potential or verbal IQ. Building Thinking Skills'® perfectly sequenced cognitive exercises are exactly what she needs to help build the neural pathways around the 'white-matter damage,' literally bypassing her disabilities so that she can perform up to her actual IQ. The series has helped both of us to take the frustration out of learning." - Dr. Heather Henderson, Eugene, OR
"The [Building Thinking Skills®] verbal and figural skills books have been invaluable.…The lesson plans and activities ordered according to difficulty made it possible for our instructors to link an assessment to a prescribed curriculum tailored for each student. Students don't get bored or discouraged when they are presented work which matches their ability level." - Stacey Hunter Schwartz, Ph.D., Assoc. Dean
"The Building Thinking Skills® series is probably the most basic, comprehensive resource for thinking skills at all levels." - Cathy Duffy, Christian Home Educators' Curriculum Manual, Greensboro, NC
"The #1 selling thinking skills program in the world and I can see why! These authors have written one of the most effective books for teaching/learning thinking skills." - Merrilee Defoe, Reviewer
"Probably the best purchase I made this year. My kids loved it and got a lot out of it. Helps raise test scores!" - Parent, via the Internet
"I have twins who have always done above-average work but have never tested anywhere near the top. We did an intensive study of Building Thinking Skills® in the weeks before they tested. To my surprise, their scores were in the 98th and 99th percentile across the board. I failed to give them practice the next time around and their scores went down. Now they're back at the top again and I know that Building Thinking Skills was what helped them." - Sharon, Forestville, MD
"We did a limited experiment to see if Building Thinking Skills® would help students perform better on standardized and state tests. The improvement was remarkable. Test scores went up even after the first few months. I'm totally sold on the program." - Joel, Principal, Marshville, NC
"This series challenges students to solve a variety of fun and educational activities that can significantly improve their ability to think about problems rather than just mechanically apply a few memorized techniques." - Peggy Zorn, Harvest Home Educators Newsletter, Bedford, GA
"Looking for a way to help students exercise their mental muscles, organize their thinking, or increase their test scores? Check out Building Thinking Skills®! You'll find the boost you're looking for!" - Diane Wheeler, Reviewer
"I love this book!! Sylvan Leaning Center uses it. That should be enough of a testimony right there." - Parent, via the Internet
"Prepares students minds for logic." - Nathaniel, Muscatine, IA
"Building Thinking Skills® has improved our son's test-taking skills and made him a more logical thinker, which helps him learn more effectively in all subject areas. These are wonderfully effective books and I highly recommend them." -
"The school flyer on OLSAT test claimed we can’t prepare our children for the test. My child didn’t score high enough on the OLSAT the first year he tried, so couldn’t get in the GATE program. When I found out about your Building Thinking Skills® series, I got them and started several pages everyday over the summer. We briefly reviewed it right before the test, and he scored 98th percentile, making into the GATE program! Now I tell other parents, contrary to the flyer, we CAN prepare our children for the OLSAT test. Thank you!!!" - Jean L., California

Test preparation available for the following:

Building Thinking Skills® includes reading, writing, figural-spatial, logic, and math-related activities to prepare students for high levels of success on a wide variety of assessment tests, including:


Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP)
Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS™)
Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT)
Ohio Proficiency Test
North Carolina Competency Test in Reading
Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS)
Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)
Virginia Standards of Learning (VSOL)


Iowa Tests of Basic Skills® (ITBS®)
California Achievement Tests (CAT/6)
Stanford Achievement Test™ (SAT/10)
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, Fourth Edition
Otis-Lennon School Ability Test® (OLSAT®)
Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT)
TerraNova (CTBS), Terra Nova, The Second Edition (CAT/6)
Woodcock-Johnson® Tests (WJ-III®, WJ-R®)
Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®)
Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) / Talented and Gifted (TAG)
Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children® (WISC®)
Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence™ (WPPSI™)
Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®)
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-R)
Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE)
and many more!