Develop Problem-Solving Superheroes

Each week on the QuaverSEL Blog, we highlight one of the core CASEL competencies and a sub-competency. Today, we’re diving in to responsible decision-making and an activity that explores analyzing situations and how it can lead to better problem-solving skills. 

Let’s dig in! 

How can my students become problem-solving superheroes? Problem-solving is an important skill to have, but one that comes with experience and practice. In order to problem-solve effectively, a student must first be able to analyze and understand the situation.

Take five minutes this week to help students analyze situations in order to become better problem solvers.

In Lesson 20 of the 1st Grade Curriculum, you’ll find a character named Mad Dasher.

“Mad Dasher” introduces students to a character who is consistently late for school, forgetful, and can’t seem to figure out why.

Have students analyze Mad Dasher’s situation. You can help them by asking guiding questions such as:

  • Was this the first time the Mad Dasher was late?
  • What did he remember for school? What did he forget?
  • Why did he get the name Mad Dasher?
  • How could he help his situation?

Then, have students name three ways in which Mad Dasher might have been better prepared to get to school on time.

Remind students that, “Understanding a situation can help us change it.”

What Makes It Work

There are a number of ways that Mad Dasher could have helped himself to be on time for school.

In the next activity, “What Makes it Work,” you can help students compare two other situations to analyze whether they work or not.

  • Before clicking the question marks, ask students to analyze whether they are good at lining up or cleaning up.
  • Toggle on the Blank version of the activity and discuss two other situations of your choosing. You might choose “chores” as an example.
  • Discuss what could be done to make that situation work. What would make it not work?

How do you encourage better problem-solving in your classroom? 

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