Responsible Decision-Making

Family Resources on
Problem Solving

Project and Purpose

By explicitly teaching social-emotional learning skills while honoring diverse identities, creating a sense of belonging, and promoting student agency toward personal growth and social impact, the teacher better creates a classroom environment that fosters well-being for self and others.

If the lesson is used in the classroom: Students learned the IDEA method for problem solving. IDEA stands for:

Identify the problem
Decide on a solution
Engage in problem solving
Ask yourself if the problem was solved effectively

Students practiced using this method and reflected on solving common problems.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

Problem solving is an important daily living skill, learning to solve problems responsibly helps children maintain safe and healthy lives. This lesson helps students practice strategies to solve problems as they arise.

Conversation Starters and Practice at Home Activities

Ask your child to share their thoughts about the IDEA method. Why do you think this method works? Or, why would this method work for you?

Discuss the following questions:

  • Describe a type of problem you sometimes have to solve. Describe how you would use the IDEA method to solve this problem? Do you think this works? Why or why not?
  • Could we use the IDEA method as a family to solve problems? Why or why not?
  • What are some problems we face in the neighborhood? Could we teach others the IDEA method? Would it work? Why or why not?

School to Home Resources on Problem Solving

Problem-solving is the process of thinking about an issue and finding solutions. There are steps we can take to be effective problem-solvers.  In this lesson we will learn the IDEA method for solving problems.


This 25–35 minute lesson is designed for flexibility. It can be taught in one day or over the course of a week.

  • Warm Welcome
  • Feelings Check-in
  • SEL Skill Spotlight
  • Active Engagement
  • Closing Connection
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