Reasoning is one of the three main aims of our Maths National Curriculum. The ability to explain and demonstrate our thoughts through diagrams, calculations and pictures allows us to develop a deeper understanding of our learning and become flexible with our thinking. As Borthwick and Cross have defined in their book ‘Reasons to Reason in Primary Maths and Science’ 2018:
‘Reasoning is thinking, but it is thinking in a logical, purposeful, goal-directed way.’
Reasoning does not only happen during our maths lessons, but is embedded throughout our whole curriculum and encourages our learners to notice, question and explore their understanding of the world.
The focus of a recent Teacher Research Group, opportunities to reason have been promoted in all our maths lessons and teachers have developed the use of question and sentence stems to support all learners across both key stages. Learning environments are rich with examples of children’s reasoning and work books reflect the progress our learners are making.
These questions can be found on https://wodb.ca/ and are a fun way to develop reasoning skills at home and in the classroom.
Here are a few examples of reasoning in our classrooms: