Middle school students use inductive reasoning to search for mathematical relationships. Although we do not expect formal proof in the middle grades, we begin to prepare students for the rigor of mathematical proof by giving them many opportunities to justify their reasoning. It is important to provide students with rich tasks that enable them to make generalizations and develop arguments to support those generalizations. We also need to be aware that at this level students may also make inferences that are not always true. Notice that problem solving and communication are an integral part of the Reasoning and Proof Standard: Students must communicate their reasoning and their justification orally and/or in writing. We foster a thoughtful environment through the problems or tasks we provide.
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