Real World Problems: Try to guide students away from too many homework or subject-area type problems (e.g.
Discuss: Students should silently record their ideas in writing for a couple minutes.
Afterwards invite them to share what they wrote with a neighbor and then finally bring the whole class together to develop a classwide list.
Make Categories: You may want to group problems into larger categories during this conversation and invite students to help you do so.
For example, if two suggestions are "finding my keys" and "finding my homework" suggest a larger category of "finding lost things".
I could say I have a problem for homework, a problem with my brother, and a problem with my car, and all three mean very different things.
On a sheet of paper I want you to brainstorm as many different kinds of problems as you can and be ready to share with the class.
Again give them a couple of minutes to quietly record the steps of their process before sharing with a neighbor.
Goal: All three of these discussions aim to reinforce the meaning of the four steps in the problem solving process.
We solve problems all the time, but we don't often think about how we're solving problems.
Having a strategy or process to approach lots of different kinds of problems can make you a more thoughtful, creative, and successful problem solver.