Problem Solving Steps

As you may have noticed, we have place the Problem Solving Steps posters throughout the building. These are great visuals to assist students in solving their problems. According to Second Step, teaching problem-solving skills reduces impulsive behaviors, improves social competence and friendships, and prevents violence. We can not assume students understand and know how to successfully problem solve therefore we need to provide direct instruction. These lessons are included in the Problem Solving unit of Second Step.

What are the four steps

1. Say the problem

-Students say the problem in a neutral, non-blaming way

2. Think of solutions

-Students think of solutions that are both safe and respectful

3. Explore Consequences

-Students look at positive and negative consequences of carrying out a solution

4. Pick the best solution

-Students choose the solution that best meets the prosocial goals


Don't forget to be working on the SEL in your classroom. One simple exercise is to have your students practice and utilize belly breathing. Students put their hands on their belly and take nice deep breaths in and out. You would be surprised how well it works for them, and you :)

Abby has also added many great videos on the Google Drive for you to utilize in your classroom. She has categorized them by area of "need" or emphasis. She is also a great resource for ideas to help our students be successful.


The first video I always find humorous but it brings up a good point. There are many ways to solve a problem, but we just need to find the right way to do so. To help our students, we need to teach them those skills so they won't stay on the elevator.

The second video is developed by Committee for Children. It's kind of "commercially" but I like it because there are some good examples of teachers working with students and students discussing the program. They are focusing on students from CPS and the successes they have had.

Stuck On An Escalator
Chicago: Pioneers in Social-Emotional Learning