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First Grade Thinking Skills & Key Concepts

Teaches Beyond Most State & Common Core Standards!

Grade: 1

Critical Thinking

Full curriculum

Grade: 1

Critical Thinking

Full curriculum

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**Optional Teacher's Guide sold separately for this product.**

Components Sold Separately

First Grade Thinking Skills & Key Concepts: Answer PDF

First Grade Thinking Skills & Key Concepts: Teacher's Manual

First Grade Thinking Skills & Key Concepts

First Grade Thinking Skills & Key Concepts 1 5 5 1

Description and Features


Description and Features

Puts the power of grade-level core content lessons at your students' fingertips!

Description and Features

This highly-effective, standards-based, 168-page book is a research-based instructional program that teaches beyond most state and Common Core standards by:

  • Improving children's observation and description skills
  • Developing academic vocabulary
  • Developing thinking skills that underlie content learning (describing/defining, identifying similarities and differences, sequencing, and classifying)
  • Improving students' understanding of key concepts in mathematics, social studies, and science
  • Students completing structured exercises to write sentences and paragraphs
  • Carefully sequencing lessons to develop thinking skills
  • Employing language integration techniques to teach thinking skills and key concepts

Academic Vocabulary Development
The program builds academic vocabulary using these important concepts: describe, compare and contrast, and classify shapes, position, land forms, bodies of water, living and non-living things, food, animals, family members, jobs, vehicles, and places.

Observation Skills
Observation lessons involve concrete examples using detailed photographs to develop observation skills. The student book provides activities that students may use to clarify their thinking and learning by peer and class discussion.

Spatial Thinking Skills
    • Describing Shapes – naming shapes, finding shapes to match a description, describing characteristics of a shape
    • Similarities and Differences – matching and combining shapes, producing equal figures, figure completion
    • Sequences – recognizing and producing the next figure in a sequence
    • Classification – classifying by shape and/or color, forming classes, depicting overlapping classes
    • Using positional and directional words

Verbal Thinking Skills
    • Describing – matching a picture to a description, describing people, animals, or objects shown in pictures, part/whole analysis
    • Similarities and Differences – selecting similar people, animals, or objects, explaining similarities and differences
    • Sequences – ranking objects or people by a significant characteristic
    • Classifications – explaining characteristics of a class, exceptions, sorting into classes
    • Analogies – naming the kind of analogy or completing the analogy

Mental Models
This book teaches the characteristics outlined in its mental models needed to describe or define a concept.

How We Know It Works
    • Increased scores on language proficiency and cognitive abilities tests
    • Increased scores on normed or criterion-referenced achievement tests
    • Proficient student writing
    • Increased number of students placed in advanced classes and subsequent successful performance

Teaching Support
This student book can be used with a free, downloadable, answer PDF (get it here) or with a detailed, 224-page Teacher's Manual which can be purchased separately. The Teacher's Manual provides instructions to teach the lessons using research-proven methods that promote students' thinking:  direct instruction, cooperative learning, whole sentence responding, and language integration activities. The Teacher's Manual physical book is in black and white, but the eBook version is in color.

Watch a short presentation on this highly effective product. View Online | PowerPoint | PDF

Product Details

Item#: 10402PBP
Author(s): Sandra Parks and Howard Black
TOC: View Table of Contents
Subject: Critical Thinking
Type: Student Book
Media: Paperback Book
License: Reproducible
ISBN–10: 1-60144-658-6
ISBN–13: 978-1-60144-658-9
Pages: 168, Color


Tillywig Brain Child Award, 2015

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Jul 27, 2015
First Grade Thinking Skills & Key Concepts is part of a new standards-based series from The Critical Thinking Co. The book does an excellent job of helping kids develop essential thinking skills, academic vocabulary, and a grasp of key concepts in mathematics, social studies, and science. It is quite effective in laying a foundation that enables students to absorb, integrate, and communicate the more complex subject matter they will encounter as their schooling advances. Each page has its own topic heading followed by a small number of concise exercises interlaced with illustrations, a format that is highly effective at keeping kids engaged. The precision and clarity of the problems is such that students experience a rapidly growing sense of mastery (and justifiably so) as they move through the material.
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