Date
01 April 2020

Develop problem solving skills and asking for help

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Enable access and participation in learning’

Foster a problem solving culture

Foster a problem solving culture

Support and enable students to lead and problem solve.

Getting past getting stuck

Getting past getting stuck

Getting stuck is a common trigger for challenging behaviour.

“The Learning Pit is about learning what to do when you don’t know what to do.”

Introduce it to students and support them to use it.

Establish help signals

Establish help signals

A help signal system can reduce off task behaviours and frustration at feeling stuck.

A help signal enables a student to give an unobtrusive signal when they need help. Whilst a student waits for assistance they can select either a calming strategy or alternative work.

It is important to develop the system with your students and establish agreed signals, waiting behaviours, and teacher responses.

Possible signal options:

  • colour-coded cup
  • an agreed object that usually lies on the desk that can be stood up
  • green/red sided card
  • traffic light slider
  • student writes name on “I need assistance” board

This system can also be used to support individual students rather than taking a whole class approach.

 

Offer tools to support problem solving

Offer tools to support problem solving

Where a student is having difficulty completing a task, provide a range of options.
  • Additional instruction
  • Guided or individual practice
  • Peer tutoring
  • Timely feedback
  • Problem solving buddy
  • Video instructions or graphic breakdown of the task
  • Writing or speaking frames
  • Story or sentence starters
  • Digital supports (for example, spelling and grammar checkers, text-to-speech software)

Source: Teaching for Positive Behaviour (opens in a new tab/window)

Reflective questions

Reflective questions

Adapt for your own context.
  • What problem solving approaches are students familiar with?
  • How do I model solution-focussed behaviour?
  • How do I demonstrate and model that I value risk taking?
  • How do I create a safe space for problem solving in my classroom?

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

James Nottingham’s: The learning challenge

Publisher: James Nottingham

Visit website

Website

Maximize learning: Keeping students in the zone of proximal development

Publisher: Learning Specialist and Teacher Materials

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Enable access and participation in learning”:

Return to the guide “Behaviour and learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Behaviour and learning

Strategies for action:

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