math reasoning

Importance of Kids Learning to Explain Their Math Thinking

Over the course of the past twenty years, the organization known as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has been a leader in the concept of motivating children to explain their math thinking within the classroom environment.

It is believed that this activity helps a child to reason in a mathematical manner and communicate that mathematical reasoning.

Additionally, talking through math thinking is believed to help a child develop a solid understanding of the skills and concepts delivered in math instruction. In this brief guide, you will learn many facts pertaining to the importance of kids learning to explain their rationalizations when completing math assignments.

The Benefits of Talking Through Math Problems

There are several distinct benefits associated with a child talking through their math problems. The following outlines the most common general benefits:

  1. Talking through a math problem has the ability to help a child better understand that which they are working through.
  2. When a child talks through a math problem, a teacher, tutor, parent, or other adult assisting that child will be able to identify the areas where misunderstanding is occurring.
  3. According to research, we learn 98% of what we teach. By talking through a math problem, children consistent learn the skills and concepts by teaching those skills and concepts. Therefore, this helps in boosting memory and engaging in a more robust level of learning.
  4. Children that talk through their math problems are able to develop a deeper level of understanding and reasoning than children that do not.
  5. Talking through math problems aids in the support of the development of language.
  6. Kids that talk through math problems in the classroom setting are better able to develop the social skills needed to connect to their peers, their teachers, and other individuals in their life.
  7. Talking aids in getting the brain to think a bit deeper. In turn, children develop solid critical thinking skills.
  8. A student that talks through their math problems is able to rationalize their reasonings for performing certain steps. As a result, they are able to formulate solid arguments as to why they did what they did, or why they feel that they must do what they must do.
  9. When a student talks through their math thought process and make a claim, it provides other students with the ability to contest their thought process. This claim and counter-claim process aids in optimizing the social experience; therefore, it becomes memorable. Any skills and concepts that are memorable will become instilled in all students engaged in the process.
  10. Finally, talking through math problems helps students develop techniques and strategies that they may not – otherwise – be introduced to.


Here at Miracle Math Coaching, we utilize teaching strategies that encourage kids to talk through their thought processes while working to solve the problems in which they are presented. As a result, the kids experience all of the benefits outlined in this guide. Additionally, there is a form of brain growth that occurs during talking out problems.

If you have an interest in brain learning, explore

What is Miracle Math Coaching

Resources: How Kids Benefit from Learning to Explain Math Thinking
Why Use Talk in Mathematics Classrooms? Explaining Your Math

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