Problem Solving

Problem Solving

Campbell Hill Classified Staff use Data and SEL Strategies to Help with Transitions and Recess

The classified staff of Campbell Hill Elementary, in Renton, WA, works hard every day to be sure that students know they are safe, belong, and matter in the unstructured spaces like the school playground and cafeteria. This team of educators meet monthly to align their practice, continue their learning about social emotional learning and trauma-responsive strategies, and to support building equitable classrooms and communities. One of their best tools is using patterns in discipline data - which helps them to identify system improvements and opportunities to build lagging skills for the adults and/or the kids.   Supporting Transitions from Classroom [...]

2023-04-28T19:58:31+00:00March 21, 2023|

How Family Meetings Can Help Kids Learn to Use Their Voice

Now that the school year is in full swing, we find ourselves settled into the hectic monotony of rushing kids to school, prepping dinner, and getting ready for bed. How do you connect with your kids and give them a voice in the family amidst the daily chaos? Consider trying out family meetings. Family meetings are a tangible way for kids to practice exercising their voice and sharing their opinions. Young people benefit so much when they have a say in how their environment is structured. When they can use their voice it also fosters feelings of self-worth and builds [...]

2023-05-17T18:26:51+00:00October 17, 2022|

Five Ways to Encourage Student Voice and Share Power in the Classroom

As educators, we may (often unconsciously) hold on to the power in our classrooms. But we do have the choice to share power with our students. Sharing power and prioritizing student voice strengthens students’ sense of belonging and diffuses power-over dynamics between educators and young people. When we let go of some control, we are able to build authentic relationships with students and find more joy in teaching. When we value student voice, choice, and agency we build a more cohesive school community. We look for ways to provide ample opportunities for our students to share their gifts, talents, and [...]

2023-05-17T18:26:51+00:00October 17, 2022|

Lakeridge Elementary’s Journey

What is it like to transform a school into a place where all young people feel they belong, they matter, and they can grow as learners? Lakeridge Elementary, in the Renton School District, has been on just such a journey. In the spring of 2020, while navigating remote learning during school closures, the skilled Lakeridge data team, supported by Sound Discipline facilitators, decided to focus data collection on identifying patterns of racial disproportionality in discipline and identifying ways to develop a truly inclusive school community. Analyzing Data and Looking for Patterns A typical data team is made up of members [...]

2022-02-16T11:34:05+00:00February 16, 2022|

Use Real Life to Develop Problem-Solving Skills in Kids

As your children begin to transition back into the classroom, life will yet again change for your family. Routines, either altered or dropped as we moved into the COVID online learning world, will need to be re-established and tailored to fit the new reality of our kids going back to school. It can seem overwhelming to think about the logistical problems to solve, especially if in-person is only for a fraction of a day. Maybe we can use this time as a learning opportunity for our kids. We all want to raise critical thinkers who can break down a complex [...]

2023-05-17T19:01:04+00:00April 23, 2021|

How Teachers Engage Students and Stakeholders in Problem Solving

Many schools are transitioning back to hybrid and in-person education, inviting students back into the halls and classrooms that have stood empty for over a year. The logistics are daunting. Despite all of the safety precautions required to accomplish this move, the transition also offers us a chance to reimagine how our education system operates. It gives us a powerful opportunity to begin to create more equitable, engaged, trauma-responsive school communities, where everyone feels as though they belong and they matter. Now is the time to create structures and practices that better serve all of our students. All students have [...]

2023-05-17T18:54:28+00:00April 14, 2021|

Including Student Voice in Transition Planning

Education is undergoing another major transition. There are voices of power from state governments, districts, and school administrators attempting to balance pandemic safety needs and the learning needs of youth. All stakeholder voices should be heard in the planning and reimagining of education, including students' voices. Students have a unique perspective on classrooms, schools, and the education system. If we actively seek their contributions to both identify problems and offer potential solutions, we can tap into creative ideas and empower students in the process. Providing opportunities for meaningful student input requires adults in education to prioritize asking rather than telling, [...]

2023-05-17T18:55:00+00:00March 10, 2021|

Sartori Elementary Practices Repair and Problem Solving

At Sartori Elementary School, in the Renton School District, they have explored many creative ways to integrate our approach into their school practices. Staff Learning Labs One innovative strategy is the development of social-emotional learning (SEL) lab days for staff. Grade level teaching teams explored goals for class meetings, then planned a lesson using resources from the BELONG Partners Pacing Guide** to focus on implementing class meetings in their classrooms. Two teaching teams integrated the class meetings lessons into their classrooms, with time allotted for the teaching team to reflect after each one. They were able to refine their [...]

2023-08-16T16:26:04+00:00June 11, 2020|

Practicing Patient Parenting

It happens to most of us…there’s no cream for coffee, you are late leaving the house, the traffic is bad on the way home….and then one of our children unknowingly says or does something that pushes us over the edge. Out comes that “yelling” parent, leaving our child bewildered and us feeling guilty and regretful. All parents have at one point or another resolved to be more patient with our children, because of course we know, they are learning from how we respond, more than how we tell them to respond. What we do matters. Here are some ideas to [...]

2019-01-03T09:55:50+00:00January 3, 2019|

Mistakes Can Be Opportunities

No one likes to make mistakes. Making mistakes can invite uncomfortable feelings of guilt and shame. Those feelings result in students (and most of us) thinking about mistakes in ways that aren’t helpful. Students may think that mistakes are “bad” or that others will laugh at them if they do something wrong. They may work really hard to try not to make any mistakes – to be perfect. These thoughts and feelings invite students to feel discouraged or to give up. As an educator you know that learning requires making some mistakes. Can you imagine learning math or how to [...]

2016-10-05T12:49:17+00:00October 5, 2016|


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