Getting Un-Stuck from a Problem

By | July 28, 2019

Looking for ideas to share with kids about how to get UNstuck from a problem? Consider these ideas.

  1. Reread or restate or rethink the problem in your own words or with your own ideas.
  2. Make a mental picture or a short movie to see the problem.
  3. Think about what you might do to change things to solve the problem.
  4. Make another mental picture of movie to see if it appears to work.
  5. Talk it over with another person, asking for their opinion (Two heads are smarter than one!)
  6. Try your solution. If it works…hurrah!  If it doesn’t work, start over using new ideas.

For a MATH and READING problems, try these variations on the earlier idea:

  1. Look for hints, key words, used in the problem.
  2. Reread the problem.
  3. Look through any provided questions for hints/key words to help you focus.
  4. In Math, find all the numbers you need to use. In Reading, find key words mentioned in the story and the questions.
  5. Circle or underline important information.
  6. Reread to be certain you understand the question. If you feel confident, proceed to #7 and #8. If you feel uncertain, go back to #1 and rethink your process.
  7. For Math, draw a picture of the Math process and parts. For Reading, ask yourself the question again and find the place in the text where the information seems to be located.
  8. Write or share your conclusion.

REMEMBER: IF you are not correct, ask others to help you understand where you went wrong or where you made an error in your thinking. It’s important to understand where you may have made a wrong turn so that next time you won’t make the same mistake.