Problem Solving Class

You know that the password is eight numbers long, but you don't remember what it is.If you're using the trial and error method of problem-solving, then you would just try any random combination of letters and numbers until something works.Just a few seconds ago, you figured out how to start this video, and that may not feel like a huge accomplishment compared to, say, coming up with the theory of relativity, but every time you engage in an action or thought pattern to move from your current state toward a goal state, you're solving a problem.

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- [Narrator] What's the best route to your new job? You may not even realize it, but you are an excellent problem solver.

Each of these questions represents a problem that we sometimes face.

Because you face such a variety of problems each day from the simple to the complex, your brain has several different ways of solving problems. This means that you just take random guesses until something finally works.

For example, imagine you're trying to log in to an email account you haven't accessed in a while.

Well-defined problems have a clear starting and ending point, such as how to make it bright in a room that's currently dark.

You know exactly what you're starting with and exactly how you wanna end up.Last week during our class meetings, I noticed a disturbing habit developing among my students.Sometimes they don't want to switch seats and move away from their best friends, and sometimes they want to be the last one standing (when we do an activity that has us sit down after our turn).Eventually we settled on two possible preventative solutions: 1) they could come to the circle separately and choose a place to sit away from close friends so they wouldn't be tempted to resist moving.2) we could make assigned seats around the circle so that no one would feel uncomfortable about moving if necessary.Instead of making one better than the other (class meeting or one-on-one), let children choose which option they would prefer at the moment.This tool and many others can be found in the Positive Discipline Teacher Tool Cards.A more methodical approach would be to use the algorithm strategy.An algorithm is a logical, step-by-step procedure of trying solutions until you hit on the right one.So if we're still trying to get into our email account, we might start with one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and if that doesn't work, we'll change one number at a time.Two, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, then three, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and so on.


Comments Problem Solving Class

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