Friday, April 20, 2012

Crew Review: Inference Jones

I have yet to come across a Critical Thinking Skills product I haven't like.

And Inference Jones: Beginnings is no exception.

This book came at a perfect time for us.  Luke's reading has really taken off this year.  He's really doing well understanding the factual information of what he is reading.  But I am noticing that he is not always getting the higher level content:  the cause/effect, main idea, the inferences.

We really need this book.

This is the first of two Inference Jones books.  It is available for $11.99.  The beginnings book is targeted with a 3-4th grade reading level;  the second book (level 1) is a 5th-6th grade reading level.

Before I tell you about our experience with this product, I thought I'd include this bit from the website which explained why inferential reading comprehension is important:

 "Research shows inferential reasoning is a prerequisite component to superior reading comprehension. ..The reader’s interpretation is the result of inferential analysis which includes drawing from personal knowledge and experiences, social values, and cultural conventions. The interpretation connects a meaning to the words, providing the reader with an understanding of the character’s actions, circumstances, or events in the story."

Each of the 18 stories in this book is fairly short:  approximately 20 sentences (each sentence is numbered).  A small black and white drawing accompanies the story.  There are 9-12 questions for each story.  Some questions are true/false, some are multiple choice, and the last three or so encourage integrating personal knowledge to evaluate whether a statement is probably true or not.


The reading comprehension skills addressed in the book include comprehension skills such as:  cause/effect, distinguishing fact/ inference, identify main idea, compare/ contrast making generalization, reading for detail.   Literary analysis skills of analyzing character traits, identifying theme and setting, and sequencing events.

This as been a great addition for Luke's work on reading skills over the past few weeks.  It is not easy for him at all.  I find that he has to read the story twice, and that helps him.  I appreciate the last set of questions that ask him to determine if a statement is probably true or not and to incorporate life lessons and personal knowledge.  This is something that is hard for Luke, but I know with practice, he'll get better.

Critical Thinking Company allowed Crew members to review a variety of products.  I encourage you to head over to the Crew Blog to see other what my crew mates thought of other Critical Thinking Company products:

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Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

1 comment:

Brandi said...

My little guy liked Inference Jones,too!