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Behavior: kindergarten problem-solving story

Date: April 5th, 2017
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: Problem-solving. How many kids in your class can problem-solve on their own right now? They’re little, I know.

I want to share with you a neat story. I was in a kindergarten class and they had a sand table. You know how you have a number posted next to different stations? You got a little number that says how many kids can be there at a certain time, because it’d be chaos if you didn’t, right?

You can pick this center, three people here, four people here, two people here. Well, all the kids wanted the sand table. They all wanted the sand table. They’re all crying, “I want the sand…”

The teacher, finally, she stopped and thought and processed for a minute. She said, “OK, go.” They all said, “We can all go?” “Yeah, go. Go ahead.”

15 of them! 15 kids went to the sand table!

You got 15 kids at the sand table, and they’re all trying to shove and muscle themselves in. They’re standing neck to neck like this, and they got only their hand touching the sand. Teacher said nothing.


She said to them, “Solve the problem. The end result is, you all wanted to get there.”

She waited and waited, and a few minutes later one of the kids said, “Well, this isn’t any fun, I can’t play.” A few kids dropped out, and a few kids said, “Well, why don’t we do the Legos first?”

That was called allowing the kids to have the opportunity to solve the problem.