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Reading Detective® Beginning

Using Higher-Order Thinking to Improve Reading Comprehension

Grades: 3-4

Language Arts

Grades: 3-4

Language Arts

  •  Multiple Award Winner
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Description & Features

These highly-effective, literature-based critical thinking activities develop the analysis, synthesis, and vocabulary skills students in Grades 3-4 need for exceptional reading comprehension. This 192-page activity book is especially effective at helping students understand challenging critical reading concepts such as making inferences, drawing conclusions, determining cause and effect, using context clues to define vocabulary, and making predictions and generalizations. 

Students read and analyze short literature passages and stories that include fiction and nonfiction genres. Then they answer multiple-choice and short-response questions, citing sentence evidence to support their answers. Concepts and skills covered include:

Literary Analysis Skills
     •  Define vocabulary using context clues
     •  Recognize figurative language
     •  Identify main idea, supporting details, and theme
     •  Recognize literary devices
     •  Identify story elements: theme, plot, setting, and characters

Reading Detective® Beginning includes the following genres:

Award-Winning Literature Excerpts
     •  The Barn
     •  Sable
     •  Dexter
     •  The Cricket in Times Square
     •  The Stories Huey Tells
     •  Sideways Stories from Wayside School
     •  Chocolate Fever

Stories and Articles
     •  Mystery
     •  Humor
     •  History
     •  Adventure

Nonfiction Topics
     •  Science
     •  Math
     •  Geography
     •  History
     •  Biography
     •  Inventions
     •  Sports

The Grades 3–4 (Beginning) level is organized into single-skills units with a concluding mixed-skills unit.

Teaching Support
Includes pretests, post-tests, lesson guidelines, and answers with detailed evidence. Reading and literary analysis skills are based on grade-level standards.

Product Details

Item#: 01506BBP
Author(s): Cheryl Block, Carrie Beckwith, Margaret Hockett, and David White
TOC: View Table Of Contents
Type: Student Book with Answers
Media: Paperback Book
License: Reproducible
ISBN–10: 0-89455-769-6
ISBN–13: 978-0-89455-769-9
Pages: 192, perforated


Cathy Duffy 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum Creative Child Magazine Media of the Year Award Informal Education Products Product of the Year Learning® Magazine Teachers’ Choice Awards Mensa Recommended Materials for the Gifted The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval

Product Reviews Write a review for this product

"My children (ages 12 and 8) and I have gone through your first level of Reading Detective®, and it's the best reading comprehension teaching material I have found! Other "reading comprehension" materials TEST a student's reading comprehension, but don't teach the student HOW to comprehend, or how to look for the answers in the text. I love that your material does that. I love your evidence-seeking approach!" - Sarah, MO
"I just want to take a moment to say 'thank you' for your fine, solid products. I had my (homeschooled) third grader recently complete last year's standardized math and reading tests from another state (released publicly online). I just wanted to see how she would perform. We have used your products as supplemental materials since pre-k, and my kids have loved them. I must say your Reading Detective® and Mathematical Reasoning™ get much credit for her passing scores, and particularly, her above-average score on Reading. Bravo, TCTC! We will continue to use your products through my kids' entire education, and are looking forward to trying some new, challenging products next school year!" - Laurie, MN
"You've really done your homework on this product. The questions the students answer match the language and skills required in our state testing. The depth with which my students have to think is astronomical." - Julie, Fall City, WA
"The Reading Detective helped my students understand the testing format as well as develop their critical thinking about written material.…Their reading levels were raised from a range of 1 month to 2 years 5 months overall." - Linda, Scotts, KS
"My students like the Reading Detective stories…When they're intrigued by a story, they're more attentive to what they read. They critically examine their answers and take ownership in defending them." - Melanie, Winter Springs, FL
"I just found Reading Detective, and I'm telling my whole school about it. It's just perfect for preparing students for their end-of-grade tests. The questions require them to make inferences about what they read and locate evidence in the passages to support their conclusions." - Diane, Kernersville, NC
"This is one excellent reading comprehension series. The students I work with anticipate and enjoy reading the selections. I highly recommend these books." - Judith, Ph.D., Reading Specialist, Detroit, MI
"I knew this series would be great. For teaching children the problem-solving and questioning skills that will help them on tests also in their daily lessons, your materials are tops." - Linda, Ft. Scott, KS
"My son is bright but reading comprehension was his lowest area, so I had him do Reading Detective. After three months his reading comprehension jumped about four grades. A few months later, he was asked to take the ACT EXPLORE test for grades 8/9 ability, and he passed it with a 96% overall score!" - Amy, Elgin, NC
"I'm...conducting research at my elementary school on the impact of Reading Detective on the reading comprehension SFA scores of the school's English language learners...[E]very student made progress, and two of the students actually improved two full grade levels!" - Britta, Tucson, AZ
""Reading Detective teaches important skills with excellent examples. The introductory practice activities give students a systematic approach to selecting the correct answer."" - Chris, Educational Therapist, Santa Clara, CA
"Many reading comprehension materials involve reading pages and pages. These one-page activities are much quicker for my students (and me) to do! Also, the pre- and posttests are great for documenting specific areas that students are struggling with or succeeding in. I'm very excited about this series because I'm always searching for solid comprehension books for my students." - Laura, Shelbyville, MD
""Reading Detective fits the Ohio Proficiency Tests perfectly. Both A and B levels have the type of passages that the students need to practice for the test. The questions call for the higher-order thinking the examiners require."" - Dina, Westlake, OH
"We are very pleased with the Reading Detective. It will help us on the Ohio Proficiency Test!" - Barbara, Woodbury, MN
"This is a great program to help my children read for deeper meaning, therefore, they do better on standardized tests and long term learning." - Daniele, Burgaw, NC
"I really, really like Beginning Reading Detective. The different skills are broken down so students can focus on them one by one. It also covers all the major skills that come up on the LEAP tests. The series is good for any student of any ability." - Ann, Shreveport, LA
"Reading Detective is perfect for us. It deals with exactly what we've been working on to meet the standards. It clues right in to what's important, and the stories are good too." - Amarilyn, Long Beach, CA
"Since discovering your materials, I've come to realize the benefits of teaching children to think. As a specialist, I work with all abilities. Your books are powerful at both ends of the spectrum. The classes I teach are now averaging 2 years above grade level." - Elaine, Houston, TX
"I have added the Reading Detective® series to my daughter's curriculum to stretch her verbal and comprehension skills. I have moved my verbally strong daughter up a level in comprehension and literature analysis. Thank you." - Melody

Test preparation available for the following:

Reading Detective® guarantees top performance on assessment tests, including:

Stanford Achievement Test™ (SAT/10)
California Achievement Tests (CAT/6)
Florida State Assessment (FSA)
Iowa Tests of Basic Skills® (ITBS®)
Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT)
Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP)
Palmetto Assessment Challenge Test (PACT)
New York State English Language Arts (ELA) Test
Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP)
Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)
Ohio Proficiency Test
Kansas State Assessments
North Carolina End of Grade Tests
North Carolina Competency Tests
Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS)
Indiana Statewide Test for Educational Progress (ISTEP)
Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)
Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL)
Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT)
Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA)
California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR)
and many more!