Reasoning combined with problem solving have been a key feature of the new mathematics curriculum for primary schools in the United Kingdom that was introduced in 2014. Put in simple terms, reasoning in maths is the process of applying logical thinking to derive the appropriate problem solving strategy for a given question in order to come up with a solution.
Reasoning is often seen as the bridge between fluency and problem solving. It allows pupils to start using their fluency to properly carry out problem solving.
Focusing on reasoning is very important for the development of every child and this is why the curriculum was adjusted. Logical reasoning requires actually understanding what the problem at hand is and knowing how to approach it correctly. Although this might seem natural and logical, almost everyone has to be taught how to do this effectively.
Logical reasoning influences behaviour and attitudes through engagement, requesting help and seeking conceptual understanding. In reality reasoning requires a lot of active talk. This means that in order for kids to start developing their reasoning skills they have to be open to asking questions and expressing their opinions in order to improve. However, talking and asking would lead to nowhere if it isn’t paired up with active listening. In order to understand what the teachers are saying, kids need to know how to carefully listen and grasp information.
The first and most important thing that students need to learn is how to justify their answers. If they can clearly explain how they arrived at their answer, they can then more easily pinpoint the logical thinking that was involved.
Another way of improving logical reasoning is by explaining proofs. Geometric proofs are a good way to practically apply mathematical reasoning. Ask your child to write down the geometry problem they are given and then what they suspect. After that, ask them to write down an explanation as to why each of their statements are true. This forces students to look at problems carefully, step by step rather than quickly trying to solve them in their heads.
Last but not least, have your child work together with you or with a friend of theirs to solve a problem. When working with someone else on a math problem, they’ll have to justify their reasoning in order to convince the other person that they’re doing it the right way. This method also allows them to analyse and critique the other person’s opinion and logically come to an agreement.
You certainly can! Although reasoning is included in the United Kingdom’s school curriculum, some children might need some extra help. If you’re looking for a tutor, then we have the perfect solution for you. TutorExtra offers a wide variety of qualified teachers, who are ready to help your child learn and improve at their own pace.
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