Disclaimer: 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.
Math facts are an important part of a child's education, but without critical thinking, they are likely to get hung up pretty easily. While some people naturally possess high levels of critical thinking, the rest of us have to develop it over time with practice. Our review today is designed for the purpose of introducing 2nd and 3rd grade students to critical thinking through comparisons. Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew, we used Dare to Compare Math: Beginning from The Critical Thinking Co.™ as a simple way to stretch a child's reasoning skills.
What We Received:
We were given the physical book, Dare to Compare Math: Beginning. It contains 150 problems with solutions for each in the back. Each page has a perforated edge for tearing out, if you choose. It is also available in ebook format, but we didn't receive anything digital this time.
How It Works:
The level of difficulty may rise slightly as move through the problems, but there is no requirement that you go straight through from beginning to end. Still, that is the most logical way to do it! Each word problem has at least two steps in determining an answer to the question and often several steps when you include counting objects and such. The apparent design of each problem is to help the student see multiple factors at the same time, sometimes with different actions, sometimes with patterns. The processes required to solve the problems helps stretch their critical thinking muscles. This book could be used in a variety of ways as a supplement, working a couple of problems at the end of every math work session or working through pages on alternate days from a core curriculum. I also really like the idea of using it as a summer unit study!
How We Used It:
My 9 year old son is about to start 4th grade and my daughter is about to start 2nd grade so for this book I had them work together. The hope was that if it was a bit too challenging for my daughter, my son could help her and my son could get in some teaching time, which always reinforces skills. Thankfully, it worked out beautifully. Since the book consists of mostly word problems, solving them lends itself to discussion. This was perfect for the kids working together. As I expected my daughter needed a little direction on some problems, but wasn't completely lost. My son had seen all of this type of stuff before so he was well-equipped to guide her appropriately.
We have used products from The Critical Thinking Co.™ before and have always found them to be a gradual descent into greater learning and cognitive processes. This beginner book is consistent with all that we have tried in the past. Word problems can often pose a tall hurdle for students and this book is a comfortable way to familiarize students with that kind of framework and strengthen their skills.
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The Review Crew reviewed a total of 4 different books covering a variety of grade levels. Check out the rest of the reviews through the link below to see what the other books are like!