Reasoning is fundamental to knowing and doing mathematics. Reasoning is 'systematic thinking'. It enables children to make use of all their other mathematical skills and so reasoning could be thought of as the 'glue' which helps mathematics makes sense.
The second aim of the new mathematics national curriculum in England (DfE, 2013) is that all pupils will:
'...reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.'
We aim to develop the children's reasoning skills to ensure that their mathematical skills are cemented and that they are able to explain how they arrived at a particular answer, or explain why an answer is incorrect. By using a multitude of manipulatives and various models and images, children are able to use these to explain their understanding of a particular concept more easily.
We provide situations to encourage mathematical reasoning and show pupils examples of what reasoning involves, only the pupils can actually do the reasoning. We ensure that we help them to acquire the confidence in problem solving and refining their skills and strategies.