Three Steps to Good Problem-Solving – Teacher’s Corner

Teacher’s Corner
The following are writing prompts and discussion topics about kids and problem-solving.
Here are three steps to good problem-solving:
STEP ONE: Know what you want and need.
STEP TWO: Learn you can’t have everything you want and need and that outbursts of anger or frustration are not the way to reach a goal.
STEP THREE: Learn better and smarter ways to share your needs and wants and work toward a goal.
Make up an imaginary friend about your age and answer the following questions with him or her in mind.
  1. Describe something you think your friend wants or needs related to school.
  2.  What would your friend look like, sound like, or act like if he gave in to his frustration over not being able to get what he wants or needs and didn’t control his feelings?
  3. What are some things your friend could do to get what she wants or needs that would be acceptable, smart, and might work?
  Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
  1. For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
    • Use the blog for discussion topics
    • Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
  2. For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
  • Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
  • Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
  • Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
  • What would be your advice on this topic?
  • What was left out of this article?
  • If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
  • Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
  • Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
  • The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
  • Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
  • Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.


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