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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Emily Hume*

Emily is a Reading Specialist and Literacy coach in a public elementary school with a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

Math often requires both reasoning and logical thinking. When you encounter a word problem, it's important that you take the time to think through the problem. In this lesson, you will learn how to think through a math problem in a logical way!

You're baking cookies with your dad. Yum! Your job is to measure and put the ingredients into the bowl and dad's job is to read the recipe to you. He tells you to put 2 cups of sugar into the bowl, but the mixer is loud and you can't hear him. Did he say '2 cups' or '2 buckets'? Which one would make more sense? Let's think logically!

- How big is the bowl? Which would fit: 2 cups or 2 buckets of sugar?
- How much of the other ingredients did you put in? Are they more comparable in size to 2 cups, or 2 buckets?
- Which measurement do you see more often in a recipe, 'cups' or 'buckets'?

Once you ask and answer these questions, you'll be more likely to decide that dad must have said 'cups'. Congratulations, you have just reasoned and used **logical thinking** to solve a math problem! This means you thought about what would make the most sense.

You're taking a math test. You breeze through the problems on the front, then turn your paper over and see a word problem. Don't panic! Word problems take logical thinking and a step-by-step approach. Let's try it!

Jim had 20 dollars. He did some chores around the house and got paid for his work. Now he has 34 dollars. How much did he earn in all by doing chores?

You may be tempted to simply add the two numbers that you see, especially since you see the words 'in all.' This would give you 54 dollars for your answer. But if you use logical thinking, you'll soon realize that the problem is not that simple.

The problem says he now has 34 dollars, but 54 is more than that, so it wouldn't make sense to say he earned that much by doing chores. It's not a reasonable answer. Where did the rest of the money go? Let's think logically! He started with 20 dollars and now has 34.

Through the use of logical thinking, you determine that the operation you must do to solve this problem is actually subtraction, not addition. This is because you have to subtract the amount he started with from the amount he has now in order to see how much he earned.

Logical thinking applies to other types of problems, too! Let's look at another one. You see a picture with four shapes: triangle, circle, rectangle, and square. Which of these shapes does not belong?

You can use reasoning and logical thinking to solve this problem by asking some questions.

- What are the characteristics of each shape?
- Is there anything that any of the shapes have in common?
- If you are sorting these shapes, which would you put together and why?

Through logical thinking, you determine that all of the shapes except the circle have straight sides. Therefore, the circle is the one that doesn't belong.

**Thinking logically** means taking the time to think through a problem and determine whether your answer is reasonable. Asking yourself a series of questions and paying close attention to your answers can help you think logically to solve a math problem.

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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