Archive for the ‘Problem Solving’ Category

5
September

Back 2 School Essentials – Collaboration


The world today relies more and more on people collaborating to solve various kinds of problems. In this context, across all grades and subjects, school culture should focus on modelling teachers’ and students’ collaborative problem-solving.

Collaborative planning for teachers

    Teachers collaborating on projects across subjects could be a good strategy to make learning relevant and engaging. Among the benefits:
    – leveraging resources, ideas, and learning opportunities
    – students make connections between subjects
    – teachers show they are aware of the importance of other classes
    – teachers are on the same page in terms of not assigning too much homework on any given night or scheduling tests on the same day

    Step 1. Find a collaboration partner

    Step 2. Get resources – if there aren’t internal grants available at your school, search for external grants and resources that meet the needs of your collaborative project.

    Step 3. Set up and develop the curriculum with your grade-level team

    Step 4. Use informal spaces for collaboration.

    Building student collaboration

      Kids need to learn to collaborate and appreciate what others are saying. They also need to learn how to push back if need be, be reflective about their own understanding and build approaches with other people.

      Step 1. Create a group-work problem – this should relate to a goal that’s difficult to accomplish alone, thus the reason for a group assignment. You can think of an element of discovery and curiosity, or try something that connects to a piece of literature.

       

      Step 2. Be flexible in forming groups – let students choose with whom they want to work with and just advise them on the strategy.

      Step 3. Establish student roles – for literature assignments you can assign several roles like the researcher, the facilitator, or the wordsmith role. You can also have the interpreter, the critic, the summarizer, the checker, the artist or the vocabulary helper roles. All in all, each student should have his own area of expertise so that the end result is rigorous and complete.

      Step 4. Individual and collective assessment – though the final result might be good, some students might not have contributed sufficiently. Or vice versa. You need to know exactly who did what in order to properly assess each group’s activity. Try to provide specific, timely feedback and to make it available to the entire group.

      Step5. Build comfort around speaking in front of the classroom – students need to practice public speaking, so set up a classroom debate. Give each group the possibility to explain their thinking process while completing the assignment, and to answer their colleagues’ questions.

      Collaborative teaching challenges teachers to provide diverse learning environments for their students. Collaborative learning means students will be working together to construct knowledge that did not exist before their collaboration. We’d love to hear if you have any plans or ideas on how to use the power of collaboration in your classes. Plus, if you need some tips on how Mindomo can help, we’re here to assist you.



      Keep it smart, simple and creative!
      The Mindomo Team

13
June

3-Step, Visual Approach To Solve Any Problem

You know you are facing a problem when you find yourself in a condition which is different than the desired one. If the problem is simple, then the solution is usually quite obvious. But when you’re facing a more complex issue, the card up your sleeve is to get in a problem-solving state of mind.

There is a saying that in order to understand a problem profoundly, you need to see the bigger picture. If this doesn’t come naturally at first, mind mapping will help you. Mind maps let you create visual databases, so you can see everything in one page – the root of your problem, its causes, on-the-spot ideas on how you can fix it, etc.

Let’s take an example: you have a travel agency that’s going through an image crisis. A quick and efficient way to do a problem diagnosis would be to create a mind map around these simple questions:

1 What is the real problem?

The first step is to clearly state the issue you are facing and identify what is real or true about it, as factually as it can be determined.

2 What is going on?  Why did this problem occur?

 This is the point where you start collecting and analyzing all the information you have about the problem. You need to determine if your problem is being influenced by your organization (structure) or a function (process). Also, you need to know exactly who are the people affected by the issue.

3 How to avoid the problem? How to ameliorate it? What actions will solve the problem?

This step is about solution planning. You have to evaluate the whole situation, point out all your alternatives, select the ones you’ll be implementing and prioritize them. Don’t forget to think of how you will determine if your actions made a difference or not.

Problems occur all the time, and no matter how small or big, the most important thing is for you to come up with imaginative and rather stress-free solutions. That’s  why problem solving is so looked for by universities and employers. If you want to develop or boost this important skill, mind mapping is always a good idea.

Keep it smart, simple and creative!
The Mindomo Team