Logical reasoning is the process of using steps to solve problems. For some of our students, this comes naturally. But for other students, this is a process that will challenge them for the rest of their lives. Logical reasoning requires thinking, planning, and an understanding of the problem trying to be solved. This post will focus on the why, what, and how of logical reasoning! A fantastic resource recommendation and two awesome free downloads are included as well!
Too often today I see children not given the opportunity to solve problems. As teachers, it is our job to give them as many opportunities to do so while we have them in our classrooms! Logical reasoning is not only a necessity for solving math problems but also a necessity for life. One day when our students are teenagers and then adults, they will need to be able to shift through information to reason and make a logical decision regarding situations each and every day. By providing out students with opportunities to develop their logical reasoning, we are setting them up for success throughout their lives!
Here are some strategies you can include in your day-to-day activities and routines:
Encourage students to ask questions.
You are probably thinking that you have about 5 students who frequently ask questions. But the rest of your students do not. It’s like pulling teeth. It isn’t natural for them. So let’s talk about ways to help motivate and encourage these students to ask questions.
First, be sure to always give students think time. Questions are not going to magically pop in their heads. They need time to think about the story or topic you are discussing. Consider giving them some things to think about. For example, if you are going to read a text about elephants and want them to ask questions they have before reading, prompt them to think about their habitat, diet, predators, etc.
Also, give them time to share and farther develop their questions with a peer. Have students turn and talk once or even twice to fully develop their question. Some students will need the modeling of their classmates to understand what is being asked of them and then develop a question.
Consider rewarding students for answering questions. Earning stickers, stars, etc. may motivate some of your students who are less likely to ask questions. I created the poster below that can support students by providing question words. I also created the question tracker. You can write your students’ names in, then use stickers or laminate it and use dry erase markers to reward students for asking meaningful questions!
Students should have multiple opportunities in a single day to clarify meaning. They need opportunities to put things in their own words, without losing the initial meaning. There are many ways that you can do this. Students can share verbally to the whole class, a small group, or even a peer. Students could write or use a digital tool to share their understanding of the meaning. Some digital tools you might consider incorporating are Lino, Padlet, Voicethread, ClassFlow.
Reason about issues.
Debate. Debate. Debate. Students ability to think logically and critically will naturally develop through reasoning about issues. These could be “fake” issues for the sake of a debate or real-life examples, such as who should be our next president. This is not something that I would recommend “springing” on your students and having them do immediately. Introduce the debate to your students, assign them viewpoints, and give them time to ponder. I would consider introducing the activity days before doing it. This will give students time to think about it, research it, and even discuss it with family members at home. By doing this, you are setting yourself up for a much richer debate with informed students. Because you assigned viewpoints to students to ensure you had varied views, after the debate have students share what their personal viewpoint actually is on the topic. After participating in the debate they should have a developed their own opinion with detailed support.
A great resource for building logical reasoning are the Solve Its Sets!
These are number sentence puzzlers. Solve Its are engaging challenges your students will be determined to solve! In each volume, number sentences are provided on each of the 20 Solve Its but instead of numbers being displayed, there are pictures. Students are tasked with using the information provided to solve for the value of each of the pictures.
Each Solve It is provided in a full-page colored version, half-page colored version, half-page black/white version, and printable version with an area for students to show their work. An answer guide is included.
These are provided in separate sets but are also available in a MONEY-SAVING, bundle!
Grab this bundle now while it is over 60% off!
Check out the free download to see what the puzzles are like!
These puzzles give students the opportunity to reason with the information that is provided to solve for the information that is not provided. Each set has a different focus:
- Addition to 10
- Subtraction within 10
- Addition & Subtraction within 10
- Addition to 20
- Subtraction within 20
- Addition & Subtraction within 20
- Addition to 50
- Subtraction within 50
- Addition & Subtraction within 50
- Addition to 100
- Subtraction within 100
- Addition & Subtraction within 100
A monthly-themed holiday set has been created as a FREE DOWNLOAD for you to try!
This set is focused on addition and subtraction within 10 and includes 12 puzzles! Download this at the bottom of the post.
These puzzles can be used in a variety of ways! Think about what may work best in your classroom. Here are a few suggestions:
You might be wondering… a math reward?? You are correct a math reward. Students respond to things based on how we present them. If you present these as required assignments, that is how students will think of them. If you present these as collaborative work with a partner, that is how students will think of them. So, if you present them as rewards, your students will look forward to this challenging puzzles as something they earn and look forward to doing! You could reward for hard work through a lesson, week, etc., for great participation, or for a thorough math explanation of a solution!
If you want this fantastic free resource click on the image below to download!