Bold School-Chapters 12 & 13

10/29--Problem Solving Teaching & Spaced vs. Mass Practice

Objectives for the Session

  • Explore Spaced and Mass Practice best practices.
  • Discuss Problem Solving teaching.
  • Explore Flipgrid as a digital tool used to enhance Problem Solving teaching.
  • Analyze how Spaced/Mass Practice and/or Problem Solving Teaching fit into meeting your academic outcomes.
  • Map out our "What Next" steps.

Bell Work: QR Reader

Have you ever used a QR code reader to enhance your lessons? We're going to today!

Please choose one of the following:

Scan QR codes via the internet and your device camera: https://webqr.com/index.html

Use your iPhone:

  • Open the Camera app from the Home screen, Control Center, or Lock screen.
  • Select the rear facing camera. Hold your device so that the QR code appears in the viewfinder in the Camera app. Your device recognizes the QR code and shows a notification.

Use your Android:


  • Samsung’s browser also has a built-in QR code reader that allows you to quickly scan a QR code when you need to.
  • The feature is turned off by default, but you can enable it by opening up “Extensions” and then tapping on “Scan QR code.”

Once you're ready to go, get a QR Code from Mrs. Smith and open the attachment for a BOLD resource.

The Facts


  • Individuals in spaced practice conditions performed significantly higher than those in massed practice conditions.
  • Repeated retrieval of information boosts long-term retention.
  • Repeated exposure makes learning sticky.
  • Repeated exposure weaves new and old knowledge.
  • Practice can be both spaced and mass with station rotation.
Spaced & Mass Practice Infographic

What did you take away from this graphic?

What and Why

"Problem solving teaching isn't about letting student solve a lot of problems on their own in class, following the steps you set out for them. It's about recreating in your classroom the circumstances of encountering an authentic problem." - Kieschnick

Problem Solving Teaching is -

  • student driven
  • rigorous learning
  • productive struggle
  • opportunity to develop grit, perseverance, and resilience

Problem solving teaching has a stellar .63 effect size (Hattie, 2015), but only when it is purposefully used to let kids struggle and develop tenacity along the way.

Five Step Process

Model Problem Solving

  • Actually model the process you go through when finding a solution
  • Come up with essential questions that must be answered to get started
  • Model how you evaluate & decide what resources to use​
  • Articulate your thinking as you find the solution​

Present Students with a New Problem

  • Similar to the problem you modeled, but not too similar
  • Don't want students just repeating your exact steps, just the process
  • Allow productive struggle - this develops perseverance, grit, & gumption

Have a Class Discussion

  • Lead a conversation about what information is needed before coming up with a solution
  • Support them as they come up with the essential questions that will lead them to a solution
  • Make sure to redirect students if they get off track

Set Them Free to Problem Solve

  • Let students go about the resource and tool finding process on their own
  • Let them decide how to solve the problem on their own
  • Be available to provide support and guidance, but not solutions
  • This is an excellent opportunity to integrate technology - whether it is researching, supporting the solution, or checking their solutions

Provide Three Rounds of Spaced Intervention

  • An initial intervention aimed at making sure students are on the right track
  • An intermediate intervention to scaffold for those students who are struggling
  • A final, summative intervention in the last 5 or 10 minutes of classs where we stop shy of providing a step-by-step solution, but instead discuss the problem-solving process as a class

Three Things to consider

•Problem solving teaching works best after surface knowledge has been mastered

•Problem solving teaching means productive struggle within a structured process.

•Embrace technologies, provide guidelines.

FlipGrid for Solution Expression

Enhancing Problem Solving with creative ways to share SOLUTIONS.

Congratulations! What Next?

You have completed our Bold Book Study...now what?

I'd like to invite you to share your experiences with the RSMS staff via video. Using the Sign-Up Genius below, please select two instructional strategies you plan on implementing and elevating with technology. We will set up a time for us to meet and then me video your BOLD teaching.

Don't forget your #ROCKBold Tweet!

Tweet about your Bold School Journey!

Tag @AprilSmithRCS, #BoldSchool, and #ROCKBold.