September 23, 2014

Three Types of Problems

Today we talked about the three levels of day-to-day problems one might encounter as a student. Now, these aren't math problems, they're those situations that arise where one wonders, "What do I do?". I want my students to develop life-long problem solving skills. I want them to be leaders. I want them to be the person in an emergency that everyone says, "Whew, thank goodness_____ is here." In most cases, this is a skill that needs to be taught.  At the Grade Three level, it might not look like much, but as a teacher with years of experience, I can tell you, when we give kids permission to solve their own problems, we teach kids to be leaders.  

So, what do we mean by the three types of problems? 

Level One: 

  • kids can solve these all on their own
  • no teacher or parent intervention is required
  • level one problems include needing a band-aid for a paper cut, not being sure where an item goes in terms of recycling, finding a book in the wrong basket or not being sure what we're to do when we finish our assignment 
  • in most cases, asking a classmate helps one resolve a level one problem

Level Two: 

  • these problems likely need teacher intervention to be solved 
  • level two problems include: forgetting one's lunch, an injury that needs ice, a playground matter that needs addressing, a disagreement among friend 
  • in most cases, these are minor problems that might take place once or twice a month for an individual

Level Three: 

  • these are the biggie problems
  • they require intervention from teacher(s) and the two "Ps": parents and Principals 
  • these are major problems which rarely occur
  • problems such as: a serious injury, "I think I'm gonna throw up", bullying or consistent lateness would all be level three problems 

Over the next few days, we'll have many discussions around the three levels of problems. I'll work with the boys and girls to help them categorize situations so they can begin to explore ways in which they can solve level one problems on their own so they can focus more on learning.  Everyone wins when students and teachers can do their job with minimal distraction and by giving children permission (and the tools) to solve their own Level One problems, we develop early leadership skills and maximize our learning time and environment. 


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