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 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.
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.
Children join in the process by choosing eggs with the characteristic described.
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?
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.
And if Dragona responded “egg shaped” when asked what shape her egg was, how helpful would that be?
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.
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:
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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