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Student Overview: Support Flexible Thinking

For: Students

Tags

Social-Emotional Learning/Growth Mindset All Ages Strategy

Skills

Flexible Thinking Self-regulation Social Awareness

Student Overview: Support Flexible Thinking

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
— Soren Kierkegaard

What It Is

Flexible thinking is the ability to shift your thinking when you need to. We all get stuck at times, but how you handle unexpected circumstances or unanticipated test questions can make a big difference. If you feel yourself getting upset, ask these questions so you can use your energy to handle the situation. Talk through situations as they arise. Literally ask yourself the following questions.

Questions To Ask Yourself About School Work

  1. Am I giving up too easily? What else can I try?
  2. Even if I don't know how to solve the problem, what can I do to get started? (Write down all of your ideas. Brainstorming often helps)
  3. Does this problem remind me of anything I've seen before? What did I do then? Can I do that now?
  4. How else can I look at the problem? Can I draw a picture? Can I use a 3-D model or even a few pencils to help me visualize?
  5. Can I talk through the problem with someone to help me understand?
  6. When in a group, am I listening to my classmates' ideas? Can I try one of their ideas?
  7. Even if I know my approach should work, it isn't working. Is there another way I can try? Can I dissect each step and figure out where I might have gone wrong?
  8. Should I take a break, clear my head, and come back to it later with fresh eyes?
  9. Have I spent too much time without making progress? Should I ask for help?

Questions To Ask Yourself About Tough Situations

  1. Is this as bad as I think it is? What's the bright side?
  2. I haven't done this before, but does this remind me of something I have seen or done before that I was able to manage?
  3. Is there someone who can help me get through this? Can I talk to a friend? A teacher? A parent? The school nurse?
  4. Am I considering everyone else's perspective? Am I being fair? (Build a habit of asking others what they think or how they feel.)
  5. What are my options in this situation? Which are the pros and cons of each option? (Making a list in your head or on paper can help make an overwhelming situation feel more manageable.)