As parents and teachers, we have endless opportunities to celebrate our kids’ achievements. In school, bulletin boards become galleries to showcase budding artists and trophy cases boast athletic and academic victories. As parents, we cheer our children on at spelling bees, science fairs, on the sidelines at soccer games, and in folding chairs at piano recitals – celebrating the product of much training and hard work.
As important as it is to recognize end results, we need to honor our children for their thinking processes along the way. Parents and teachers today have a huge job to do – we must equip students to tackle 21st century challenges and prepare them for careers that have yet to be imagined… pretty daunting! So how do we train our kids to be flexible, creative problem solvers and celebrate success when it comes to process thinking?
Showcase a Problem Solver of the Week!
A problem solver is anyone who sees something that needs to be fixed or improved and figures out a creative new way to do so. Discuss with your child what it means to be a problem solver, and identify and celebrate creative thinking heroes together!
- Overflowing stuffed animals in the toy chest? Figure out a new way to use your space to find room for all your furry friends!
- 1 pan of brownies and 15 hungry friends? A problem solver can help figure out how to divvy up the treats evenly!
- Playing chess and realize you’re missing a Queen? A problem solver may invite a plastic dinosaur or spool of thread to take her place!
Encourage your child by celebrating his/her problem solving successes, and expand your hunt for Problem Solvers in your school community, in the news, history, science lessons, the possibilities are endless!
Need some inspiration?
Share the story of William Kamkwamba, a boy from Malawi who, using just a library book and scrap metal, built a windmill that brought electricity, and with it new hope, to his drought and famine-ravaged village!