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Skills and Best Practices

Activity 3: Skills and Best Practices

Service Learning

Community service that is part of the school program is referred to as service learning. Some school systems have even gone so far as to require a service learning project prior to graduation. This service learning requirement is reflective of the idea that good citizenship requires people to get involved in their communities and this experience should be started at an early age. In addition, students need to see the relevancy of what they are learning and service learning provides this link to the real world. The service learning generally consists of four parts:

  • Students identify a real community need
  • The service is tied to academic goals
  • Students reflect on and evaluate their service learning experience
  • Adults join in student recognition and celebration

http://www.servicelearning.org/article/view/125/1/106/

Problem Solving

Students need to review the problem-solving process. In addition, the steps in the problem-solving process needed to be posted in the classroom.

http://www.allkindsofminds.org/articleDisplay.aspx?articleID=18&categoryID=10

Although elementary students may need additional help in walking through these steps in the problem-solving process, students need to be aware that problem solving is a process that is learned and practiced.

The following steps have been carefully researched and have application for students K-12.

Problem solving is the systematic use of a stepwise approach to answering complex questions or addressing difficult issues (Levine, 1999). Dr. Levine listed the following as the critical steps in problem solving:

  • Recognizing a problem when you see a problem
  • Stating exactly what the problem is
  • Searching memory to see if a similar problem has been dealt with in the past
  • Searching and using prior knowledge and experience to solve the problem
  • Preview the desired outcome
  • Decide if the problem can be solved
  • Break the process of attaining the desired outcome into a series of steps
  • Conduct research
  • Consider alternative strategies for solving the problem
  • Select the best strategy
  • Talk oneself through the task
  • Pace yourself
  • Monitor progress
  • Manage difficulties
  • Stop when the problem is solved
  • Reflect on the effectiveness of the problem-solving process and store it away in long term memory for later use