At Mission, we believe it is important to help young people become independent problem solvers. Because we see how incredibly rewarding it is for our students to find their own answers after feeling stuck, we want to encourage them to take initiative, search for resources, and come up with creative solutions. From this process, most students gain an abundance of confidence that serves them inside and outside of the classroom.
One recommendation of how to develop these skills is through making a Problem Solving Procedure. Having a procedure in place means that the next time a student is presented with a challenge, they have ideas at the ready for how they can begin solving it on their own.
Below, we've compiled a few suggestions for your child's Problem Solving Procedure:
Stop and think! Sometimes just sitting and thinking quietly for a few minutes can help students come up with an answer.
Make note of additional resources. We ask students to determine what resources will be available to them - like a book, dictionary, or a piece of scrap paper. Then when they're stuck, they have a few ideas of where to turn first.
Think of new ways to arrive at an answer, like drawing out a math problem visually or reading tricky vocabulary words out loud in the context of a sentence.
Skip the question that has you stuck, see if you can complete any of the other problems on the page, and return to the tough question with a fresh mind.
Check to see if there is a sample answer. Often, teachers will include an example at the top of the page that might help guide the rest of the homework.
Reread directions. Sometimes a student doesn't fully understand directions with the first read-through, so we recommend reading the directions a few times for best comprehension.
If you're still stuck - ask for help!