The Teacher Tip

Don Graves Monday: Troubleshooting

June 12, 2017

From Teaching Day By Day: 180 Stories to Help YouAlong The Way,

by Donald H. Graves


There are times when a lesson isn’t working; there’s too much noise, or organizational structures we’ve instituted for the classroom have broken down.


When this happens, I call a class meeting, because this is both the children’s room and mine. Or sometimes the students ask for a class meeting.

The purpose of the meeting is to get the facts behind the problem.No names are used, no blame assigned. This isn’t a witch-hunt.


“Today I want to talk about the book area. There seems to be some confusion

about getting the books back in the right place.What are the facts?”


“There’s not enough shelf space, and we have to stuff the books in.”


“We have a lot of new books.”


“What are your ideas for solving this problem?”


“We need a larger bookcase.”


“We don’t have any money for one.”


“My dad has one made out of just bricks and boards. That’s cheap.”


“Guess we have a solution.”


Children must be able to solve the real problems that occur in their classroom; this is fundamental to understanding life in a democracy.

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