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However it is by then asking why the pattern occurs, and by trying to answer this question, that learners gain greater insight into mathematical structures and therefore deepen their conceptual understanding.Our Number Patterns Feature brings together a range of activities which offer children the chance to create, look for and explain patterns in the context of number.In addition to the Reasoning Feature, there are two collections of activities on the site which focus specifically on logical reasoning: Reasoning and Convincing at KS1 Reasoning and Convincing at KS2 Picturing what is happening in your mind's eye, or imagining what is happening or what might happen, is a skill which is perhaps not talked about very much in the classroom.
In her article Developing Excellence in Problem Solving with Young Learners, Jennie Pennant suggests that as teachers we can help children get better at problem solving in three main ways, one of which is through 'explicitly and repeatedly providing children with opportunities to develop key problem-solving skills'. In particular, it explains what we mean by 'problem-solving skills' and aims to give further guidance on how we can help learners to develop these skills by highlighting relevant NRICH tasks.
In the aforementioned article, Jennie outlines four stages of the problem-solving process: By explicitly drawing children's attention to these four stages, and by spending time on them in turn, we can help children become more confident problem solvers.
Our Reasoning Feature includes an article, Reasoning: Identifying Opportunities which explores when reasoning is necessary and what we do when we reason.
Reasoning logically as a problem-solving skill is, however, just a small part of reasoning and involves connecting information together in a sequence of steps.
Jennie outlines different ways in which learners might get started on a task (stage 1), but it is once they have got going and are working on the problem (stage 2) that children will be making use of their problem-solving skills.
Here are some useful problem-solving skills: The first two in this list are perhaps particularly helpful.
More details about what it means to work systematically can be found in the article Encouraging Primary Children to Work Systematically, which was part of our Working Systematically Feature.
As part of the feature, we gathered together two collections of tasks which lend themselves to systematic working: Working Systematically at KS1 Working Systematically at KS2 During the problem-solving process, being able to identify patterns can save time.
A fundamental component of every manager's role is solving problems.
So, helping students become a confident problem solver is critical to their success; and confidence comes from possessing an efficient and practiced problem-solving process.