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Logical thinking and problem solving

  • Published on September 22, 2017

The importance of logical thinking and problem solving

Logical thinking and problem solving are important skills for children of all ages to develop, including those in early childhood classrooms. We employ thinking skills each day, in many situations, from deciding the order in which to dress ourselves, complete simple tasks, collect items for dinner or set the table; through to more complex problems such as assembling furniture, writing work programs, juggling timetables, and organising class groupings for activities.

Dragona’s Lost Egg

This week I am excited to upload Dragona’s Lost Egg, a new interactive digital story that encourages young children to use logical thinking to solve a problem.

Dragona's Lost Egg

Dragona has lost her egg and turns to her friend Artie, owner of a Lost and Found store, for help. Artie is confident of helping her as he has many eggs on his shelves.

Dragona's Lost Egg 5

He asks Dragona to describe features of her egg, including size, shape, pattern and colour. He uses a process of elimination to identify which egg might be Dragona’s.

Dragona's lost egg 9

Children join in the process by choosing eggs with the characteristic described.

Dragona's Lost Egg - interactivity

What is Dragona’s egg really like, and will Artie be able to help her find it?

You’ll have to read the story to find out.

What shape is an egg?

The process of writing this story also required a problem to be solved; and I love nothing better than a good problem to solve.

What’s an ovoid? Do you know?

what is an ovoid

Until I wrote Dragona’s Lost Egg, the term was unfamiliar to me. Initially I was going to use the word oval to describe Dragona’s egg. But when I realised I was using a 2D term to describe a 3D shape, I knew it just wouldn’t do. I needed the correct term to avoid causing unnecessary misconceptions. I did a lot of searching and verifying to ensure I had the correct term.

Sometimes the suggestion to simply use the term oval was made. But, not only would that be incorrect, it would confuse children learning the difference between 2D and 3D shapes.

I couldn’t use the term egg shaped, as was also suggested, as eggs come in a variety of shapes, including round, as occurs in Dragona’s story.

eggs come in a variety of shapes and sizes

And if Dragona responded “egg shaped” when asked what shape her egg was, how helpful would that be?

what shape is your egg

Use correct terminology

I have a strong preference for using correct terminology with children. I am never in favour of baby or watered-down talk. Children have a great capacity for learning language and for understanding concepts if we treat them respectfully. Rather than teach them inappropriate terms which may lead to confusion and require future unlearning, why not teach them the correct term in the first place. One label is as easy to learn as another, and children love learning the grown-up terms.

Learning with Dragona’s Lost Egg

Using Dragona’s Lost Egg with your early childhood learners encourages discussion, language development, logical thinking and problem solving; skills which are as relevant to everyday life as they are to school instruction in literacy, mathematics and science. Skills learned are easily transferable to other situations. The real benefit comes from discussion of ideas and alternatives with an interested adult.

Related resources

Aditional resources to supplement use of Dragona’s Lost Egg will be uploaded soon. In the meantime, there are already other resources in the readilearn collection that help develop logical thinking and problem solving; including:

whose egg cover

who am I friends at play cover

teddy bear sorting

 

Transport sort

I’m sure you and your children will enjoy using these resources. Please let me know if there are any additional resources you would like to see in the collection.

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special gift

Maybe you are looking for a way of saying “Thank you” to a special teacher on World Teachers’ Day on 5 October. A readilearn subscription makes a lovely gift. It not only lets early childhood teachers know their work is appreciated, it helps to lighten their workload. Contact me for details.

I appreciate your feedback and comments. Please share your thoughts in the “Leave a reply” box below.

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Comments

    Problem solving skills are so important, Norah. I don’t think our youth are getting good practice with these skills in the modern schooling system. This is a very helpful post for parents and teachers.

    Thank you for acknowledging the importance of these skills, Robbie, and for sharing online. It’s so kind of you. Much appreciated.

    Thank you, Susan. I very much appreciate your supportive comment. I’m pleased you approve of my inclusion of dragons. I wrote this story for my grandson over three years ago when he was mad keen on dragons. My niece did the illustrations with a very cute likeness to Artie at the time. I am excited to be able to share it with others on readilearn at last. I hope other children enjoy reading and learning from it as much as Artie and Anna did.

    How terrific that you took time to discover the correct 3D term for the shape of a dragon’s egg. The video demonstrates your quality work and your sense of fun — I love the added touch of the dragon behind the readilearn logo at the end!

    I was pleased to have learned a new (to me) and correct term. I find it interesting that learning about 3D shapes, in lower primary anyway, doesn’t usually include learning about egg-shaped objects. The main ones included in most lessons seem to be sphere, cube, cylinder, cone, and the rectangular and triangle prisms, and occasionally pyramids. I don’t remember hearing the term ovoid at any time during my schooling, so I was pleased to discover something that I think should be common knowledge. I’m sure a rock hound like you would be familiar with many geometric terms.
    I very much appreciate your saying that the video demonstrates a sense of fun in my work. I always tried to include that. I’m also pleased that you noticed the baby dragon. I put it there as a hint for anyone who watched all the way through.:) Thank you for doing so.

    Thank you very much for your enthusiastic response, Debby. I’m so pleased you see value in what I do. I do enjoy it. Best wishes. 🙂

    Thank you for your enthusiasm, and for sharing, Janice. Much appreciated! Best wishes back to you. 🙂

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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