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Dare to Compare Math, Level 1 (grades 4-5) Review by Jacquelin Caffey

Darin Beige
The Critical Thinking Co.
1991 Sherman Ave. Suite 200
North Bend, OR 97459-3469

There are 104 days of summer vacation and I have the perfect book to keep your child’s math skills current. No more summer slide when you work through the award winning Dare to Compare: Math Level 1 book from The Critical Thinking Co.. We received the paperback book that retails for $12.99 and inside this book you will find 150 math problems for your 4th and 5th graders to complete. These are not just the run of the mill single calculation problems that most math notebooks contain. Rather, these are multi-step problems that require two or more calculations to come up with the final answer.


All the problems in this book are meant to be open-ended so the student can actually put that thinking cap on and work through the process of getting to the answer. Your student won’t just find the amount of money that Johnny and Tommy each make after opening their food stands. Instead you will find out who makes the better investment and return profit from the weekend. These type of comparison problems are throughout the book and ask the student questions such as:


Who travels the furthest? 

Which jar holds more water? 

Who sold the most? 

Which shape has the larger area? 


These types of comparisons problems are especially helpful in preparing students for higher level thinking skills found in geometry, elementary algebraic reasoning, number operations, and logic. I really liked that most of the problems had a black and white illustration to give the student a visual to go along with the problem. My student found this helpful too. And don’t worry if you the parent get stumped on how to help your student find the solution. Every single problem in this book has a helpful hint and a complete solution in the back of the book. 


Using this book with my current 5th grader has been a breeze. Since we are winding down our school year I had her complete one problem a day, five days a week instead of the warm up supplied in her regular math curriculum. She liked the break from our normal routine and found that some of the problems required her to do a little more thinking to get the answer than she was used to. 


I especially appreciate the generous copy write The Critical Thinking Co. provides in letting the purchaser to make copies of the pages within the book. This is extremely helpful to me as I try to provide quality learning materials for my family. I think this book is right on grade level for the target audience it was designed for. My daughter is not especially fond of math, but I never heard any complaints from her when it was time to complete her problem for the day. That in and of itself makes this product worth every penny.

-Product review by Jacquelin Caffey, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018