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Thinking Skills & Key Concepts

Teaches Beyond Most State & Common Core Standards!

Grades: PreK-2

Critical Thinking

Thinking Skills & Key Concepts

Grades: PreK-2

Critical Thinking

  •  Award Winner

This colorful, standards-based series is from the authors of our widely acclaimed Building Thinking Skills® series. It 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:
    • Grades PreK & K: Describe, compare and contrast, and classify colors, geometric shapes, family members, food, jobs, vehicles, buildings, and position
    • Grade 1: 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
    • Grade 2: Describe, compare and contrast, and classify shapes, position, patterns, matter, water, weather, land forms, bodies of water living and non-living things, communities, our country

Observation Skills
Observation lessons involve concrete examples using detailed photographs to develop observation skills. The student books provide 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 (first and second grade)

Mental Models
Mental Models outline the characteristics needed to describe or define a concept. Each level teaches the significant characteristics of the concepts outlined in these mental models, but the first and second grade books explore each concept in greater depth.

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
The student book can be used with a free, downloadable, answer PDF or with a detailed Teacher's Manual which can be purchased separately. The Teacher's Manual for each grade level 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

Manipulatives - (Required for PreK level, Sold Separately)
PreK Thinking Skills and Key Concepts requires the use of Attribute Blocks (required, sold separately).

All Products In This Series

  • Book(s)
  • Accessories
  • Accessories
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