Wow! That was my first response when I opened my review package from The Critical Thinking Co. When I agreed to try out Language Smarts Level E, I was expecting a workbook. This 392 page book is a little over an inch thick and packed with good stuff!
Language Smarts can be used as a complete curriculum or a supplemental resource. I really wanted to get a feel for what the book has to offer, so I photocopied small packets from several different sections for my students. This book is a teacher's book, with license to photocopy pages for one classroom or home. The answers are in the back of the book.
We worked on quotation marks, syllables, prefixes and suffixes first. Language Smarts E uses a variety of activities to keep kids engaged in learning, including crossword puzzles and word searches. I like books that go beyond "fill in the blank" style learning.
I'm very excited about this book, because it's easy to find activities that will strengthen specific areas that my kids need to work on. If I notice a problem with homophones in their creative writing, I can go to pages 215-249 and select the worksheets that I feel would benefit them most. We've really only scratched the surface of all the topics available (which you can read a better list of here). I'm looking forward to using the reading comprehension passages next, and then going through the entire writing section, start to finish. I'm pretty sure that by the time we work through those 30 pages, my students will be better writers than they are now. We haven't done much editing of their work before, and no "pre-writing" activities at all, so I know they'll be learning new things.
If my pick and choose approach is making you a little twitchy, you could start at the beginning of the book and work your way through it, from cover to cover, for a full service English program for a child working at a 4th grade level. Your child will learn a wide variety of things; from punctuation, to spelling, to creative writing, and much more. They teach kids how to use reference materials. Not just old school dictionaries and encyclopedias, but also online encyclopedias and how to use the internet to search for a topic.
Language Smarts starts with Level A, for kindergartners, and has a stand alone book for each grade level through 4th grade at this time.
The Critical Thinking Co. offers a wide variety of educational materials. They have resources for every subject and every grade level. They even offer a call in consult with an education specialist who can help you select the right materials for your students. You can connect with The Critical Thinking Co. on Facebook, G+, and Pinterest.
In addition to Language Smarts E, other Crew families have been checking out Sentence Diagraming: Beginning, and several early learning software programs, including Alphabet Song Game, Letter Sounds Song and Game, Vowel Sounds Song and Game, and Fun Time Phonics. Read what they have to say by clicking the box below!
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