Monday, August 8, 2011

Creating an Independent Problem Solver

Last week, I planned to work with Abigail on a 45-piece alphabet puzzle as part of our language arts work.  We have done this puzzle once before, about two months ago.  At that time, she needed a lot of help and I had to tell her where to put most of the pieces.  I expected this time to be similar, but I was wrong.  I opened up the puzzle and began laying out the pieces (I always lay all on the pieces on the side of the table, facing the correct direction, before we begin).  Before I finished putting all of the pieces on the table, Abigail started picking them up and putting them together.  I stepped back and watched her.  It was amazing!  I could almost see the wheels turning in her little head as she figured out where the pieces went.  She did not start with the edge pieces (as I would have done), but instead just looked for pieces that fit together.  I really wanted to stop Abigail and tell her how to do it my way.  Just as I was about to do that, though, I realized that she was thinking outside the box; she was problem solving and figuring out a way to do the puzzle on her own.  So, I stopped myself and continued watching.  Twenty minutes later, she had completed the entire puzzle with almost no assistance from me (she needed a little help with one or two pieces when she got frustrated).  As she put the last piece into the puzzle, Abigail got the biggest grin on her face.  She was so proud of herself.  I am so glad that I stopped myself from "helping" her; she learned so much more by doing it on her own!

We are excited that our blog now has over 100 followers!  Thank you to everyone who reads and follows us!  To celebrate, we will be hosting a giveaway this week.  The winner will receive a $30 gift card for Amazon that can be used to purchase a few small items for homeschooling.  To enter, please leave a comment on this post by Thursday evening and tell us how you will spend the gift certificate.  The winner will be announced in this Friday's Seeds of Wisdom post.

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