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Reasoning and Problem-Solving: See

Infants and Toddlers

Observation

  • Describe the physical environment where the video takes place. Where in the classroom are the children playing? What materials are they using? What language did the teacher use to scaffold the children’s play? Where does the teacher go and what happens after she returns? How did the children respond to the teacher?

Application

  • Which teaching practices does the teacher use to help the children learn to reason and solve problems? Check the “Know” and “Do” sections for ideas. In this instance, what does she do to provide strategies for solving problems and how does she model planning ahead to solve problems?
  • How does the teacher help the children learn about solving problems when there is not enough of a desired material? What solutions does she offer so the play can continue?

Reflection

  • What might the teacher say and do when the children are ready to be more engaged in problem-solving and thinking ahead? How could she include them as partners in problem-solving?
  • During this experience, the teacher helps the children address a social issue—taking turns and sharing. How can toddler teachers integrate reasoning and problem-solving when helping children gain social skills?

Preschoolers

Observation 

  • Describe the physical setting for this activity. Where are the teacher and girl sitting? Who else is there? What materials are available? What seems to be the goal of the experiment? How does the teacher introduce the experiment and encourage the child to make a prediction? What happens next? What do the teacher and child say about the experience? How does the teacher relate the experience to the child’s prior knowledge about polar bears?

Application

  • Which teaching practices does the teacher use to model and involve the girl in conducting an experiment? Check the “Know” and “Do” sections for ideas.
  • What kinds of questions does the teacher ask the child that could help her learn how to conduct a future investigation or experiment on her own?

Reflection

  • What would be an appropriate next step now that the girl has learned first-hand about the properties of blubber? How could the child record data about her prediction and her conclusion?
  • What are some examples of investigations and experiments that preschoolers can undertake on their own, with support from teachers? What might that support consist of?

Observation 

  • Describe the physical setting for this activity. Who is sitting at the table? What are the children doing? What are the children discussing? How does the teacher’s response support the children’s reasoning and problem-solving skills? What does the other boy do and say to get involved? How do the children guide their teacher’s actions?

Application

  • Which teaching practices does the teacher use to involve the children in reasoning and problem-solving? Check the “Know” and “Do” sections for ideas. What is the question they ask? How do they gather information? What predictions do they make?
  • Why does the teacher let the children guide his actions in terms of what colors to try next? What scientific behaviors does he model?

Reflection

  • What are some other ways the children could explore how to make different colors? What materials would they need for their investigations?
  • How can the teacher extend the interaction to support children’s ability to analyze results and draw conclusions? How can the teacher encourage elements of the scientific method—asking a question, gathering information, and making predictions—during other parts of the day or other learning experiences?

Topic:School Readiness

Resource Type: Article

Last Updated: June 5, 2018