Problem Solving - 2

Foundational

Teachers

Goal: Given a social situation or classroom activity, the student will use a problem solving strategy in 8 out of 10 observable opportunities, as measured by a teacher assessment tool.

Objectives:
1. Manage unexpected events without being disruptive to self or others.
2. Accept and generate possible solutions to solve a given problem or situation.
3. Identify flexible behaviors to help solve a given social situation.
3. Generate a new idea to solve an open-ended question or assignment.

Definitions of Key Terms: Problem solving means finding solutions to difficult problems or situations. It means finding a positive solution to an unexpected problem or event. It means defining what the problem is, identifying what the cause of it is, thinking of solutions and putting the solution in place.

Discussion Points

  • Everyone has problems and the ability to solve them.
  • A problem is a question that needs answered or a situation that creates difficulty.
  • I can learn to manage unexpected situations or events without disrupting others near me.
  • I can take steps to successfully solve problems.

Discuss with students what problem-solving means. Review the discussion point questions.

Possible activities to review the discussion points or use your own:

Think. Pair. Share: The teacher will pose questions related to the discussion points. Explain to students that the purpose of the activity is to think about the question and activate prior knowledge. The teacher will model the procedure to facilitate student understanding.

  • T (Think): Teacher begins by asking a specific question using the discussion topics.
  • P (Pair): Each student should be paired with another student, small group or work with a teacher. Pairs write brief answers on sticky notes or scrap paper.
  • S (Share): Students share their thinking with their partner. Teacher then leads a whole-group conversation using students’ answers.

SEL Categories Activity:

  • Ask students to create a list of words associated with the topic (give them 2-5 minutes to complete).
  • Once time is up, ask each student to share a word or thought from their list.
  • Other students must cross that word or thought off their list.
  • Continue the process until all words or thoughts have been listed.

Directions for In-Person or Virtual Learning: You have three options for students to complete this lesson.

  • Option 1: Print the Student Activity Sheet for each student. Complete the lesson as a group and assign the activity sheet to the students.
  • Option 2: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and post to your Learning Management System (if your school has one) or send the link to the student. The student may complete the activity sheet electronically within the classroom on a shared computer or device.
  • Option 3: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and send the link to the student. The student may access the link from a home computer, chromebook, iPad or other device.

Activity 1: What Would You Do?

Discuss with students the definition of a problem.

Ex. A problem is a question that needs to be answered. A problem is a situation that is difficult or puzzling.

Materials Needed:
  • Situations listed or create your own
  • Problems chart made on chart paper or interactive board

Read the situations below (or create your own) to the students. For each situation, ask students to share how they would solve the problem and what is important to them when making this decision.

Situation 1: Silas was with a group of friends at recess. The class bully called him a name. His friends urged him to fight. Silas knows that if he fights, the bully will win and they will both get in trouble, but he doesn’t want his friends to call him a wimp.

Situation 2: Last week, Tori’s best friend invited her to the movies on Sunday. Today, a very popular girl at school invited her to go with her family to the new amusement park on the same day. Tori really wants to go to the amusement park.

Ask students to brainstorm problems they may face or have faced already. Fill in the chart below on chart paper or the board.

Problems at Home Problems at School

Activity 2: Solve It!

Prior to the activity: Print/copy the problem cards for students; create enough for the entire class.

Review the key points from Activity 1 with the students. Display the problems chart created in Activity 1. Add a column to the chart titled “Ways to Solve.” Ask students to think of steps they take to solve a problem and share them with the class. If students do not identify any of the items below, offer them as suggestions to add.

Materials Needed:
  • Problem solving cards
  • Student Activity Sheet A - 1 per group
  • Pencil for each group
  • Define the problem – What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Brainstorm ideas – What are some ways to solve the problem?
  • Decide on a solution – What are you going to do?
  • Implement the solution – Try your solution.
  • Review the results – Did you successfully solve the problem?

Break students into pairs or small groups and give each group a problem card (or you may provide the pari/group more than 1 card) as well as a problem-solving sheet (Student Activity Sheet A). Ask pairs/groups to work together to solve the problem. Review the problems and solutions as a class when all have completed the sheet.

Problem solving cards are as follows (or create your own):

I "borrowed" money from Mom's purse without asking and she found out. I got grounded on the night I was planning to go to the movies with a friend.
Johnny has been picking on me at recess and threatened to beat me up if I told anyone. My best friend told the teacher a "big lie and I don't know what to do
My friend wants me to shoplift with him. I stayed up late watching my favorite TV show and didn't get my homework done.

Student Activity Sheet A

Directions: Using the problem card given to you by your teacher use this problem-solving sheet to help you solve the problem.

Define the problem– What problem are you trying to solve?

Brainstorm ideas – What are some ways to solve the problem?

Decide on a solution – What are you going to do?

Implement the solution – Try your solution.

Review the results – Did you successfully solve the problem?

Activity 3: Thumbs, Thumbs Down

Review the key points in the previous activities. Ask students to listen to each situation as you read it out loud. If the situation describes good problem solving strategies, the students should give a thumbs up. If it describes poor problem solving strategies, the students should give a thumbs down. If it is a thumbs down, lead the students in a discussion of what the character should/could be doing differently.

Materials Needed:
  • Scenarios
  • Tori overheard Donny tell a friend that he was going to steal the answers to the math test from Mr. B’s desk. Tori asked Donny to share the answers with her or she would tell Mr. B.
  • Officer Dave saw Anya run over some flowers in the park on her bike. Officer Dave asked Anya about this. Anya explained that she did not see them and offered to replant some flowers.
  • Chris found $20 at recess. He asked the recess monitor to go to the principal’s office. Chris quickly turned the money into the principal.
  • Silas forgot to do his homework. When Mr. B. asked for his homework, Silas began to scream and pushed all his books off the desk onto the floor.

Lesson Extension: Listening Comprehension and Grammar Review

Explain that a script is a form of dialogue writing between characters in a movie, play, or broadcast. Students should listen carefully as the teacher plays the example scripts from the immersive reader. Replay the script if needed. Allow students time to answer the questions on Student Activity Sheet B.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet B - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student
  • Student Activity Sheet C - 1 per student
  • Red and purple colored pencil or crayon

After students have finished, discuss the listening comprehension questions together.

After completing the listening comprehension portion of this activity, provide students a copy of Student Activity Sheet C. Point out to students the features of script text that indicate which character is talking. Remind students that this is a dialogue between characters.

Allow students time to complete Student Activity Sheet C.

Display the script using the immersive reader and highlight the nouns in the script. Students should self check their work to determine if they correctly named two nouns. Repeat the process for verbs and the types of sentences students identified.

If time allows students may partner together and role play the script.

Example of effective problem solving:
Dr. Sally: Good afternoon Officer Dave. I have lost my keys! Could you help me?
Officer Dave: Sure, let’s stop and think about where they might be. Where have you gone today?
Dr. Sally: First I went the the park and then I went to the cafeteria.
Officer Dave: We should start at your first stop, the park. Then if the keys are not there, we can try the cafeteria.
Dr. Sally: Let’s go look in the park.
Officer Dave: Great, let’s go.

Example of ineffective problem solving:
Dr. Sally: (angry and yelling) I have lost my keys! My life is just awful!
Officer Dave: Calm down Sally. Let’s try to take some deep breaths and try to think.
Dr. Sally: (angry, yelling and waving arms) I can’t, I’ve lost my keys!

Read Aloud Recommendations: Completing a read aloud with students is a great way for them to see and learn social skills as well as incorporating reading skills. Below are some books that could be used to reinforce the concept. Read and discuss as appropriate for level and as time allows throughout the lesson.

  • Dog Breath, Dav Pilkey
  • Enemy Pie, Derek Muson
  • Harry the Dirty Dog, Gene Zion
  • Ira Sleeps Over, Bernard Waber
  • Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Kevin Henkes
  • Oliver Button is a Sissy, Tomie dePaola
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig
  • The Little Engine, Watty Piper

Student Activity Sheet B

Directions: Think about the script read/played for the class and complete the questions below.

1. Who are the characters in this script?

2. What did Dr. Sally lose?

3. What did Officer Dave suggest they do as the first step to solve the problem?

4. Where is the first place Officer Dave and Dr. Sally decide to look for the keys?

5. How do you think Officer Dave feels when Dr. Sally cannot calm down to develop a plan?

Student Activity Sheet C

Directions: In the scripts below, circle in purple two nouns in purple that name a person and one noun that names a place. Circle in red two verbs. Underline sentences that are questions.

Remember:

A noun names a person, place, thing, or idea.

A verb names describe an action, a state, or an occurrence.

Example of effective problem solving:
Dr. Sally: Good afternoon Officer Dave. I have lost my keys! Could you help me?
Officer Dave: Sure, let’s stop and think about where they might be. Where have you gone today?
Dr. Sally: First I went the the park and then I went to the cafeteria.
Officer Dave: We should start at your first stop, the park. Then if the keys are not there, we can try the cafeteria.
Dr. Sally: Let’s go look in the park.
Officer Dave: Great, let’s go.

Example of ineffective problem solving:
Dr. Sally: (angry and yelling) I have lost my keys! My life is just awful!
Officer Dave: Calm down Sally. Let’s try to take some deep breaths and try to think.
Dr. Sally: (angry, yelling and waving arms) I can’t, I’ve lost my keys!

Application Activity

Review and discuss the example scripts from the lesson extension activity.

In small groups or pairs, have the students create scripts demonstrating effective and ineffective problem solving. Use the script sheet to create students' scripts.

Materials Needed:
  • Script sheet for each group
  • Pencil for each student

Have students record their scripts using SiLAS software. Remind students to name and save their work. Premiere the movies with the group members at the end of each session.

Ideas for modifying this activity based on your students’ needs:

  • create a script as a class
  • pair or group students so that skill levels are varied and assign each a role or task that uses their skill
  • create the script by recording the dialogue with a phone or other recording device

Topic Checkout

Review the key points from previous activities with the students. Review the chart completed in Activities 1 and 2. Ask students to complete the Student Topic Checkout. Discuss answers altogether when all students have finished.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Topic Checkout - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student

Student Lesson Review Sheet

Directions: Fill in the blanks with a word from the word bank.

steps problems situation solve question

1. Everyone has and the ability to them.

2. A problem is a that needs to be answered or a that creates difficulty.

3. I can take to successfully solve problems.

implement review brainstorm decide define

4. the problem – What problem are you trying to solve?

5. ideas – What are some ways to solve the problem?

6. on a solution – What are you going to do?

7. the solution – Try your solution.

8. the results – Did you successfully solve the problem?.