I love those rich conversations with colleagues when they express a thought and you feel like you agree completely, but you’ve never been able to express it that clearly.
That’s how Routines for Reasoning makes me feel – the book explores strategies teachers can employ to help develop students’ reasoning and problem-solving abilities. Each of the strategies does such a great job of illuminating thinking and explicitly addressing the facets that students should consider.
The authors do not advocate a one-size-fits-all approach to problem solving. In fact, the book contains great examples of how students might approach specific problems through
- Abstract, quantitative reasoning,
- Making use of structure, or
- Repeated reasoning.
The text constantly addresses the needs of special needs populations such as students with IEPs and English-Language Learners.
The authors are clear that the routines they describe will not work immediately. Students will become more comfortable with them after a few sessions. It’s a reminder to us all that we need to provide students with opportunities to practice reasoning and problem solving, and we need to help them develop tools to make sense of math for themselves.