The kiddos learned about problems inside vs. outside of their control and now it's time for them to start problem solving/taking responsibility for those inside/pipe cleaner problems! Last year I used the book But it's not my fault! with my 3rd graders for this topic, but it was such a hit with the teachers that I included it in their SEL mini-libraries. Good for them...bad for me...because then I had to find a new mentor text (or a lesson plan so amazing and full that it didn't need one).
I'd seen What do you do with a problem? pop up on some lists and was skeptical about it's fit for my needs but I bit the bullet and ordered it any way. It's not perfect, but I like it enough to use it as an opener.
At this point in the year, almost all of my teachers have already read But it's not my fault! to their classes so we began with a short discussion about that story (summary, Noodle's problem, Noodle's solution). Then we read What to do with a problem? I stop throughout and ask:
- What do you think his problem is?
- Why might he want to run from his problem?
- What does it mean that a problem is an opportunity?
I realized I needed to bring it back down a little, at least for this cohort. And when in doubt...sorting/matching cards. I took the most major "problems" in the grade level and made cards for each problem and four possible solutions to each problem. Print/laminate/cut (you know the drill). In small groups, students sorted out the cards to examine which solutions would help solve which problems. This was much more successful!
While each group still had their cards out on the floor and sorted, they completed exit tickets as a way of processing and reflecting. Didn't snag any pics of them completed, but this is what I gave them: