Wellness Works: This November we’re focusing on Problem Solving
November 1, 2023
GUELPH, ON – “Problem solving is an everyday skill that impacts all parts of a student’s academic and personal success. Students with strong problem-solving skills are more able to approach problems positively. Ideally, students develop a foundation of social problem-solving skills that allow them to manage choice making and complex social interactions with skilled decision making through repeated practice.” (Daunic, et. al, 2012; Diamond & Lee, 2011).
This month, the Upper Grand District School Board is focusing on problem solving. Problem solving is about gathering information, trying to understand, and identifying potential solutions. This is a great skill that you can focus on with your child/ren and students that will help them in so many ways.
Here are some things you can try at home and in the classroom:
- Model your own problem solving. Name it when it’s happening and label what you are doing to find a solution
- Help your child/ren or students get clear on what the problem actually is. Sometimes it may feel like a HUGE problem but when we really look at it, it is actually a collection of smaller problems. Tease out the area you want to focus on so that it is manageable.
- Have fun with your child/ren or students brainstorming possible solutions to problems. This is a time to be creative! Have a piece of paper and jot down all ideas without criticism. When it comes to assessing those ideas, it will be clear that some of the brainstormed ideas aren’t actually feasible. Rule of thumb is to let creativity fly during brainstorming!
- Weigh the pros and cons of different solutions. Consider potential consequences and outcomes, etc.
- Focus on ‘thinking’ vs. ‘feeling’ statements
- Support your child/ren or students to calm before engaging in ‘thinking’ conversations
- When you try different solutions, come back and review how it went or is going. Ask, ‘Do we need to think about a different solution or is this one working?’
“Too often we give our children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.” – Roger Lewin
The Wellness Works Committee