Grammar is not a favorite subject in our home.
Whenever I mention that’s it’s time for a language/grammar lesson, I’m met with groans and moans. Grammar just seems to be this boring useless part of the school day that could be better spent – playing outside. Because who has time for needless commas, pronouns, spelling, homophones, and verbs?
We didn’t know that grammar could actually be fun until we received Editor in Chief Level 1 by The Critical Thinking Co. Suddenly, when you are promoted to “Editor in Chief”, grammar becomes a very important work. It becomes a task with purpose.
Critical Thinking Co.
The Critical Thinking Co. is known for their high quality award-winning books. Their books are guaranteed to produce better test results and improve grades. Their books focus on helping children to think critically and analyze what they are learning. I own a couple Critical Thinking Co. books and was excited to try out this new book with my son.
Editor in Chief level 1 is for students in 4th or 5th grade. This paperback book is a consumable book. The student writes in the workbook and the teacher’s answer key is in the back of the book.
Editor in Chief turns the tables on students by allowing them to play the teacher for awhile as they get the chance to correct errors in a variety of passages. The book starts off slow, learning just one skill at a time, and then each lesson begins to build upon the former.
Lessons are as follows:
- Spelling Rules
- Nouns and Pronouns
- Adjectives, Adverbs, and Articles
- Conjunctions, Prepositions, and Interjections
- Confusing Word Pairs/Negative Words
- Homophones and Homographs
- Run-On Sentences and Sentence Fragments
There is a total of 69 activity pages in this book. Following every three lessons is a little mini review.
Using Editor in Chief
Each lesson works like this:
My son would read a short passage, which also contained a picture/photo and a caption, and he would then correct the passage by using the “clues” on the right. It’s like detective work, which really appealed to my son.
In the photo above, there are eight little circles at the top right of the page. That means there is a total of eight errors to be found in this passage. This particular lesson focused only on capitalization so all of the errors will have to do with capitalization.
As my son worked through the lessons, he would color in a circle on the right for every error he found. That way he knew how many errors he still had yet to find. As he found the errors, he would make the appropriate correction within the passage.
As we moved along in the book it become more complicated. In one passage my son had to find a variety of errors that included several different types grammar rules. The clues on the right side of the page were still there to help my son along by showing him how many errors of what type to look for; such as 2 periods, 2 question marks, 1 comma, 2 colons, 1 parentheses, and 1 semicolon.
At the end of each lesson we had the option to rewrite the passage without errors. Since this was a optional activity, we decided to skip it. My son does not enjoy writing so I didn’t want to spoil his joy by making him rewrite the entire passage. Making the appropriate corrections within the passage was enough for me.
I liked that the lessons were very clear, short, and my son could really work independently.
If you ask my son for his thoughts on this book, he will tell you it’s one of the most fun grammar books he’s ever used. He has really enjoyed doing the lessons in this book. While doing this review, Editor in Chief was the first thing my son reached for to start off his school day. It’s definitely one of his favorite books.
I love that the makers of this book were able to make grammar appealing to my son by giving him the title of “editor”. He got such a thrill out of correcting someone else’s writing. And it is such good training, too.
I did feel, for us anyway, that the book moved a little too fast. When my son got to some of the more complex lessons where he was looking for several different types of errors within a passage, he got a bit overwhelmed. As I helped him through some of those lessons, I had to admit the errors were sometimes awfully difficult to find. Thank goodness for the answer key. So the book, I felt, was a bit advanced for a 4th grader. We decided to take a break from it now and come back to it later when he’s a little more advanced.