It’s impossible to keep an eye on students every moment of the day. And if you are a teacher or a parent – you trust that the student is proactively utilizing problem-solving strategies whenever they come upon difficult or complex assignments.
When students feel empowered, they begin to make better decisions in other parts of their lives. So by encouraging students to think critically and work out problems on their own, they are learning how to apply the same techniques in real-life situations.
We’ve compiled a list of the five most effective problem-solving strategies for students. Many of these have been around a long time, but advancements in technology (specifically the internet) forces us to rethink the way they want students to tackle their assignments. So, you’re likely to find a few strategies here that are completely new to you.
1. Utilize online homework services
As we mentioned in the introduction, technology has been a huge game-changer in education. Students can easily access quality, professional assistance on any of their assignments and in doing so, can improve their homework and test scores in every subject. Some have said that this practice can be viewed as cheating – but a lot of teachers are finding that using a trustworthy and responsible service like My Paper Done does not only help students in the immediate sense but helps them in the long-run by providing them with well-written content they can use to develop and improve their own skills.
2. Encourage them to take a break
Trying to overdo something can lead to a breakdown. If this happens repeatedly, students can experience serious mental stress and can suffer in other areas of their personal lives. Teachers should encourage their students to work hard but to take breaks as needed. This can become a really positive habit to help them throughout their lives, especially when they effectively learn to manage their time and take planned breaks every couple of hours instead of waiting until they are running too low on physical and mental energy.
3. Teach students to break up the problem
Another effective strategy is to break up difficult problems into smaller parts. This can be done to anything that has several components (multi-stage math or science problems, essay questions, etc.). There are different ways to break up problems, so it will take a conscious effort to identify the best method for application. Psychologists have noted that working on smaller parts can help build momentum and even let students feel more accomplished.
4. Encourage the students to work in groups
There is no reason why students should feel they have to tackle difficult school work all on their own. Teaching them to work in groups sets them on a path of effective collaborating and networking with their peers – both valuable qualities that will help throughout their academic and professional lives. Some students may try to use group work opportunities as a way to slack off and copy off of others – so it’s important you keep an eye on groups to ensure they remain productive and beneficial to everyone involved.
5. Teach them to embrace mistakes
Teachers should remind students that some of the important life lessons in life stem from mistakes. They may not feel too encouraged about the need to make mistakes at the time, but it’s certainly something that will help hone problem-solving capabilities for myriad occasions. Suggest students review their work each day and make sure they understand where they went wrong if at all. This will enable them to do better the next time similarly complex assignments come up in the future.
Remember, students may need to apply a combination of strategies before they become habits, and students are able to problem-solve on their own. But just because they can list different strategies doesn’t necessarily mean they which are the best ones to use for specific situations. Let them try and fail. It is okay to guide them to an extent, but the key to problem-solving is being able to think critically and work on difficult assignments without having to rely on others. Have more ideas? We’d like to learn about them in the comments below.