Strategies to Support Problem Solving
Learning to code and create allows all students to develop important problem-solving skills that they can apply to many different aspects of their learning and their lives. These skills include the ability to break down problems into smaller parts, and to draw on both logic and creativity to figure out the best ways to solve them (Lechelt, Zuzanna & Rogers, Yvonne & Yuill, Nicola & Nagl, Lena & Ragone, Grazia & Marquardt, Nicolai. 2018).
- Try different approaches when solving a problem
- Simplify problems
- Identify what works and what doesn’t work
- Form and test their hypotheses
- Solve problems that may be hard at first
- Recognize when they are successful and acknowledge the contributions of all
- Use the guiding questions and prompts to explicitly teach and model for students the steps in the Collaborative Discussion Framework below.
- Display and remind students to use their Student Tip Sheet when working together.
Collaborative Discussion Framework (CDF):
|What are you trying to do?|
|Do they have or understand the purpose?|
|What have you tried already?|
|Restate in steps what they have already done.|
|What else do you think you can try?|
|Brainstorm, encourage students to take a chance.|
|What would happen if?|
|Come up with some possible solutions and predict outcomes. Test predictions.|
|Celebrate and Share!|
|Take charge of celebrating one’s excitement.|
Adapted with permission from:
Lash, T., Jeong, G., Wherfel, Q., & Israel, M. (2017). Helpful strategies for peer collaboration during K-12 computer science instruction. Project TACTIC: Teaching All Computational Thinking through Inclusion and Collaboration. Retrieved from of Illinois, Creative Technology Research Lab website: https://CTRL.education.illinois.edu/TACTICal/Collaboration
“Collaborative Discussion Framework.” [Ctrl-Shift], Reese@Illinois.edu, 3 Apr. 2015, ctrlshift.mste.illinois.edu/2015/04/03/collaborative-discussion-framework/.
Lechelt, Zuzanna & Rogers, Yvonne & Yuill, Nicola & Nagl, Lena & Ragone, Grazia & Marquardt, Nicolai. (2018). Inclusive Computing in Special Needs Classrooms: Designing for All. 1-12. 10.1145⁄3173574.3174091.