How can teachers help children to develop reasoning skills? What is reasoning and how do we teach it? Much is being said in schools and education about the importance of reasoning skills. This book explores what reasoning is and what it is not. It includes examples of how reasoning in primary mathematics and science classes can develop. It shows how a connection between the ‘skills’ of mathematics and science can help children to gain a better understanding of reasoning. What is a conjecture? What makes you think? What makes you think about your thinking? What does reasoning look like? With links to classroom practice and examples of effective teaching throughout, this book not only provides an exploration of what reasoning is and why it’s important - it also show you how to develop children’s reasoning skills in your classroom.

Reasoning in mathematics and science in the Early Years

Reasoning in mathematics and science in the Early Years

Reasoning in mathematics and science in the Early Years

In this chapter

By the end of this chapter you will:

  • recognise opportunities for young learners to reason in mathematics and science;
  • have considered ways to encourage young learners to think and reason;
  • appreciate the diverse ways that young learners may reason.


  • Why do the leaves fall?
  • What is the biggest shape?
  • How thin is thin?
  • Will extra wheels make this car go faster?
  • Is 100 the biggest number?

Questions like these have been asked many times by young enquiring minds, observing and thinking about what they notice (Kallery, 2000). Such questions often appear naïve; the term naïve, however, can be misleading as such ideas offer practitioners valuable opportunities to challenge and excite learners about the ...

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