Showing Your Thinking

Why does your child have to show their thinking? What is "showing your thinking"?

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Why does your child have to show their thinking? What is "showing your thinking"?

A major part of assessment in the early grades is observation. We watch children play and work. When students read, we make notations about the cueing systems they are using while reading (Are they focusing on what makes sense, what sounds right, or what the word looks like?). We use this information to help students develop strategies to problem solve in reading-figuring out words, keeping up with the meaning of the story, etc.

In mathematics, we are also observing how children solve problems. This is often with manipulatives or by drawing pictures. Students then develop into combination drawings, number sentences, number lines, and writing. By examining students work, we can assess the next teaching step - what to work on with the child next. We can determine misconceptions and underdeveloped skills. If, for example, the child counted his pictures by tens and then counts over one hundred such as this, "100, 110, 200, ..." it lets the teacher know that they need to work on counting by tens over one hundred (or crossing decades).

If a child simply records a number, we know nothing about the childs number development. We need to know what the child is thinking in order to guide the next step.