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.

Noticing and evidencing reasoning

Noticing and evidencing reasoning

Noticing and evidencing reasoning

In this chapter

By the end of this chapter you will:

  • have a variety of ways to collect evidence of learners’ reasoning;
  • understand the different ways that learners can show how they are reasoning;
  • be able to recognise that learners who are using skills such as justifying, generalising and proving have reached a peak of logical, purposeful, goal-orientated reasoning.


We may have previously thought of reasoning as a separate, isolated activity; perhaps an extension to thinking, used to solve a problem. However, as the previous seven chapters have shown, reasoning is central to learning about mathematics and science. Not only is it a form of thinking which helps us to solve problems, it is also a skill that we draw on continually ...

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