This collection of 150 problems asks students in Grades 2 and 3 to perform calculations to make a comparison and come to a decision. The Dare to Compare Math format recasts more traditional math problems from a single calculation to two or more calculations to come to a final conclusion. Rather than compute the cost of a lunch, the student computes the price of two lunches to determine which meal is less expensive. Instead of calculating the number of calories in a snack, the student calculates the number of calories in two snacks to determine which has fewer calories. The problems are intended to be non-routine but accessible. The solution process is open-ended, allowing students to create mathematical reasoning and to decide how to quantify in order to formulate a conclusion. Comparisons serve as a backdrop for any mathematical topic, including number operations, counting, measurement, logic, geometry, graphing, elementary algebraic reasoning, and patterns. So the comparisons are rich in both mathematical content and critical thinking. The method for solving a problem may vary greatly depending on the student’s age and mathematical readiness. On the same problem involving 4 groups of 7, some students may draw and count, some may use addition (7 + 7 + 7 + 7), while others may use multiplication (4 x 7). No problems assume knowledge of multiplication or division. Each problem is accompanied by one or more hints and a complete solution. Whose cookies have more raisins? Who babysits for a greater number of hours? Which item weighs more? Which sale is a better deal? Which snack has more calories? Whose coins are worth more? Who travels further? Who has the higher score? Whose lunch costs more? Which fence is longer? Who sells more items? Who has more money left? Comparisons provide a motivating backdrop to perform mathematical calculations in a wide range of contexts.
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