> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Make Logic Reasoning FUN With Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha From The Critical Thinking Co.™!
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Make Logic Reasoning FUN With Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha From The Critical Thinking Co.™!

I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

The Critical Thinking Co.™

Have you heard about The Critical Thinking Co.™

If you've homeschooled for any length of time, you probably have, as their books are so much FUN for kids, that they don't realize how much they are learning, while using them! We've used so many, I've lost count! But as Miss Grace is now starting middle school (eek, where HAS the time gone?), I was thrilled to be able to expand her Classical Education with a review of their logic based FUN book:

Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha !

Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha

Your kid(s) can work individually, or in small teams, as police detectives, to solve this fun and engaging crime mystery. Using the book, Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafishastudents begin by learning about different types of forensic evidence such as fingerprints, ballistics, handwriting. Then, using witnesses' statements, police reports, and forensic evidence lab reports, they must then apply their critical thinking skills, and recently gained forensic knowledge, to solve the case. 

Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha case ingredients

Because Miss Grace has watched one too many crime series, she wanted to make her 'crime book' look more professional! Perils of homeschooling and having a mom in law enforcement, sigh. So armed with some clear page holders and dividers, she went to work separating the pages out from the book, and setting them up, just as she would in a real crime book (and yes, I did pull out the solutions BEFORE I let her have at the book, LOL!). You'll notice the fancy cover? Yup, she even added the 'Incident Number' from the included case files! LOL.

samples 1 Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha

I was rather proud of her for thinking of the real life setting for her scenario, and thinking how she needed to lay things out. For example, in her book, she has the different forensic lessons coupled WITH the forensic lab reports, so she could go back and forth more quickly, in reviewing them. I had her review the info on DNA, fingerprints and bodies before she started, as that would be info that a typical officer would have received in their training, as we decided to treat the scenario in a realistic time frame. So once she had covered the basics, we started with her receiving the report of the initial crime, and the initial responding officer's report. She highlighted the location on her overview map, and with her wipe off markers, was able to make notes on it as she went along, and erase those she no longer needed. The book does come with 2 maps- the overview (shown above), and one of the crime scene/residence. She put them back to back, so she could have them out and refer to them as needed, while working her case.

working the case Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha

As I handed her the different reports, she logged them in her book, and then as she received each witness statement, or forensic report, she determined what info she needed to note on her 'note' sheets, or on her map. Again, because she was using the wipe off markers, it was easy for her to make notations, say on letters, but not actually hinder the original, in case she made a mistake. And because we didn't go over everything at once, she had time to let new info 'percolate' in her brain, to see what action she wanted to take next. 

That is what I love about this book- your child gets to determined the path of THEIR investigation. There is no set schedule or way to solve it!  Your child has to decide on each decision that comes up- do they need to see about getting more info, like another witness statement? Do they need to ask their police supervisor (aka you, or older sibling) for help? Or do they need to throw out false info or statements? All along the way, THEY have to determine which information they receive is helpful to their investigation, or a red herring,leading them down a false path! 

looking at evidence Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha

By giving her the forensic statements individually, on different days, for example, and noting any false assumptions, in her thinking,she had to reassess where she might have gone wrong, and if the new info led her to look for other clues and information. As ballistics came up, then she studied the lessons about guns and bullets, asking for 'expert' help when she had a further question, or two, or three, sigh...the forensic expert (yes, she's a female, because we're all about equal positions!) had to leave for court, or the investigation would have been stopped right there! LOL. As she started questioning alibis, she began to wonder if one of her witnesses was actually the suspect, and decided to make use of the 'newly hired' handwriting expert in the forensic department (she gave all the employees background stories as well, it was actually quite hysterical). So then she studied the handwriting overview, and asked for a go-over with the expert (aka Mom again, another role-older siblings would be a hoot helping with the case with these 'roles'), making more notes, and logging them into her 'Incident Book'.

I was really IMPRESSED with how much THOUGHT she put into the process of working through the book, and decoding information, using critical thinking skills. It was a fun daily diversion, as she worked on her theories, and then had to report, aka speak with her supervisor every 2 days to let them (me) know how the investigation was progressing. Not only was she learning thinking skills, she had to learn how to process and discuss it LOGICALLY, to try to convince me she was on the right track to solving the case (because you know, if she couldn't make headway, then another detective would have to be put on the case...LOL). I was thrilled she was able to come up with the correct suspect, and give me valid reasons and evidence for WHY.

This is a SUPER fun way to work on critical thinking and logic skills, not to mention writing, vocabulary, spelling and some basic math skills too! Miss Grace gave it a 10 (out of 10) for both fun and how much she learned! Now she can't wait until we do a full forensics course (oh oh, she's planning high school electives already!)! If you're looking for ways to spice up you daily routine, why not check out the other titles my fellow reviewers took a look at as well? Just click the box below to check out The Critical Thinking Co.™ titles of: Understanding Pre-Algebra , Critical Thinking Detective Book 1Critical Thinking Detective: VocabularyDare to Compare Level 1  and Vocabulary Riddles Book 1.

Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}

The best part is that these wonderful books from The Critical Thinking Co.™ are available in softback AND ebook forms, which ever is better for YOUR family! AND some of the books have software programs, as well! I LOVE that each book has sample pages, so you can share them with your child and get a feel for whether, or not, the book will work for them!

Right now you can sign up for FREE puzzles delivered to your e-mailbox every week, from The Critical Thinking Co.™ :

free puzzle sign up

We love getting the different variety- I use them for boredom busters, end of the year review and for when we're on the road and she wants something different! You can request up to 4 different grade levels, up to 8th grade! You get a $75 equivalent amount in puzzles in one year! Unfortunately, they don't have one for high school, although they DO sell high school level books! 

Also be sure to sign up for their sale specials too, which include big bundles of their books giveaways during the year, like this one:

critical thinking co discount pix
 Expires 12/31/2018.

You can find out more about those specials on their Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages too! And don't forget to follow their Pinterest page- they some really great links to more info about their different books, including sample pages! Once your start using these great books, you won't want to stop either! I'm already planning on using some of them for Miss Grace's high school levels!

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