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50 Thinking Clearly


Thinking Clearly Opening Page

Start-Up Activity

Ask students what happens to markers when they are left out without caps on. (They dry out.) Have students pretend that their classmates keep forgetting to put the caps back on the classroom set of markers. Ask them how they can help solve the problem. Encourage many suggestions, anything from the simple to the outlandish. Afterward, pick three or four of the solutions, and have students vote for the best one.

Tell them that this type of thinking is called problem solving. And this chapter will help them learn a simple technique for solving little problems and big ones, too.

Think About It

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

—Albert Einstein


Page 251 from Write Away

Solving a Problem

Review with students the four steps in the problem-solving process. Then place students with partners or in small groups. Present each team with a problem and have them follow the four steps from this page to brainstorm solutions. (Depending on the problem and solution, students may have to skip the final step.) Here are some problems you could present to groups:

  • The classroom pencil sharpener is broken
  • A friend has a habit of misplacing his or her lunch tickets
  • Indoor recess makes it hard to be active

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