How do you teach thinking and deciding skills?

I was helping Charlie with his math today and he wanted to rush and get the problems done so he could do his other homework. He didn’t want to think, and just wanted to do with out the thinking part to get it over with. I was trying to teach him that the thinking part was more important than the doing part and that if he could figure out the thinking, he could easily do the doing over and over again. This was hard for him to understand and he struggled to rush through. I told him you can’t rush thinking and went back to repeating myself over and over again.

I made him talk to me and explain his thoughts and the steps he would take to solve his problem before putting his pencil to his paper. This was uncomfortable to him. I learned by watching his frustration and realized that teaching him to slow down and to think before doing was very challenging.

In the end, he got it. He stopped struggling and fighting me and got the hang of it.  I told him that if he could figure out the thinking part, it was like knowing how to do a magic trick.  I explained that math problems were like mysteries that had patterns that he had to uncover and apply to solve. He finally got it and I loved watching him learn the process of thinking and then doing. I hope we can continue learning and practicing and thinking together. This thinking thing is pretty cool!

How do you teach thinking skills?