Most problem solving kids do in school is about getting the right answer and making a good grade. Don’t get us wrong. Grades are important. But most real life problems don’t have one right answer. To deal with real life problems students need good thinking skills.
Good thinking skills are key to academic and life success. Students who build them early on are more likely to succeed. Fortunately, learning these skills can be a lot of fun! Especially when students get to work on problems that are important to them.
At Story Stage we help children learn how to think. They tell us what they want to think about.
At Story Stage there is more than one right answer. Here are some problems our students have asked us to explore recently:
“My brother is leaving for college and I’m so sad.”
What if…You hid in his luggage and went with him? Or he didn’t go? Or the whole family moved with him?
“All my friends want to play a game that I don’t like.”
What if…You made them play your game? You played all by yourself instead?
“I got invited to a swim party, but I can’t swim. I don’t want anyone to know.”
What if…You pretend to be sick? You go but only put your feet in?
“The teacher put name cards on the table, but I don’t want to sit next to Molly.”
What if…You just ignore her when she talks to you? You tell the teacher that Molly is mean? You spill your crackers in her seat?
By using material in our program that is child-driven, we create authentic contexts for developing critical thinking skills. Students are motivated to learn because the problems are real and important to them. As students reason through their problems, we focus on:
- Being able to frame positive feedback for peers
- Active collaboration
- Perspective Taking
- Evaluating Facts and Opinions
- Giving reasons for conclusions
- Answering “why” and “how”
- Building a strong argument