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This is the Kawartha Pine Ridge, Hastings-Prince Edward County, Trillium-Lakelands indergarten Educator Spatial Reasoning Collaborative Inquiry wiki.

Eleven teachers and early childhood educators from three contiguous district school boards have created this knowledge building and teacher action research wiki to aid us in our quest to better understand spatial reasoning and improve our practice. Teacher action research is defined as teachers studying their practice and/or their students' learning in a methodical way in order to inform classroom practice.

If you are a Kindergarten Educator, help shape your future professional learning. Take our anonymous,15-minute, online spatial reasoning and geometry professional knowledge survey. Make your voice count:

New posts -- a review of an important professional book, articles in the Ontario Mathematics Gazette article and Canadian Teacher Magazine, web article with comprehensive print and digital resource recommendations, and the raw data from our online kindergarten educator survey!

Read this final project report on an educator inquiry into the correlations

between the Ontario Kindergarten Program and Douglas H. Clements' and

Julie Sarama's early math learning trajectories. Click on the link below:

Math Learning Trajectories in Inquiry

What Is Spatial Reasoning?
by Edward Schroeter

There are a variety of definitions of spatial reasoning. In general, though, there are four components of spatial reasoning. They are:
  • recognition of stationary shapes and figures,
  • visualization (being able to see the relationship among stationary objects),
  • mental rotation and transformation of objects, and
  • perspective taking (being able to see the changing relationships among moving objects). (Okamoto, Kotsopoulos, McGarvey, and Hallowell, 2015)

The Importance of Spatial Reasoning
The research literature is very clear about the urgency and the documented effectiveness of improving spatial reasoning among young children. Spatial reasoning is already present and developing in 3-year-olds, and even infants. Number sense along with spatial reasoning form the basis of early mathematics performance. It is therefore very important for educators to pay attention to this foundational mathematics skill.

Furthermore, an immense body of research literature indicates that it is relatively easy to improve spatial reasoning abilities with spatial toys, gestures, and spatial language. (Verdine, Golinkoff, Hirsh-Pasek, and Newcombe, 2014) Improving spatial skills has also been shown to overcome gender and socio-economic barriers to success in mathematics and later careers based on spatial reasoning.

Another compelling reason to give priority to spatial reasoning instruction is that research has shown that time periods with greater amounts of school input (winter months) are associated with greater cognitive growth in the area of spatial operations in elementary school children than time periods with less school input (summer months). (Huttenlocher, Levine, & Vevea, 1998)

In addition, spatial reasoning skills predict success in both literacy AND mathematics, as well as success in high school and in STEAM careers (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics). (Newcombe and Frick, 2010)

Proportional Reasoning Versus Spatial Reasoning
There are some teachers who advocate focusing on improving classroom practice in regard to proportional reasoning.

However, many prominent educational psychologists over the years and most studies to date suggest that proportional reasoning develops later than spatial reasoning, usually the between ages 8 and 10. There is one study which suggests that younger children (age 6) can solve some proportional problems that involve discrete quantities. (e.g., multitude, a set of items, “How many?”)

On the other hand, the same young children will have difficulty solving problems with continuous quantities. (e.g., magnitude, temperature, number line, time, mass) Such problems seem to be beyond the most primary students. (Boyer, Levine, and Huttenlocher, 2008)

Given the information presented above, it would seem prudent for pre-school, kindergarten, and early primary grade educators to investigate spatial reasoning and attempt to improve classroom practice in regard to spatial reasoning instruction.

Ty W. Boyer, Susan C. Levine, and Janellen Huttenlocher, “Development of Proportional Reasoning: Where Young Children Go Wrong,” Developmental Psychology, 2008 September; 44(5): 1478–1490; doi:10.1037/a0013110

Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2011). Early childhood teacher education: The case of geometry. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 14(2), 133–148.

Yukari Okamoto, Donna Kotsopoulos, Lynn McGarvey, David Hallowell, “The development of spatial reasoning,” Spatial Reasoning in the Early Years: Principles, Assertions, and Speculations, Routledge Press, 2015.

Nora S. Newcombe and Andrea Frick, “Early Education for Spatial
Intelligence: Why, What, and How,” Mind, Brain, and Education, by the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2010, Volume 4, Number 3, p 102.

Brian N. Verdine, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, and Nora S. Newcombe, “Finding the missing piece: Blocks, puzzles, and shapes fuel school readiness,” Trends in Neuroscience and Education, 3, 2014,, pp 7–13