If you look up “the steps of problem solving” on Google, nearly every expert will tell you that the first step is to ‘define the problem’. While this may seem almost insultingly obvious, it's a step that is easily and often skipped.
As an example, let’s say your coworker arrives late every single day. What is the problem? The most basic answer? She’s late, of course! Lateness is the problem. Or is it?
What if, instead, lateness is actually a symptom of the true problem?
When rephrased this way, the issue--and the resulting solution--becomes far more complex. If the true problem is traffic, solutions could include going to bed earlier to make it easier to wake up earlier and beat traffic, or finding an alternate route to work. If, however, the true problem is that your coworker is dealing with a negative family situation that keeps her up late, disrupts the sleep, and delays her each morning, finding a backroads route to work will do little to solve her problem.
Defining the problem--the true problem--is the first step to good problem solving. This is just one of several reasons that schools, parents, students, and educators struggle with defeating bullying. Like the situation with your coworker, the question 'what is bullying?' is deceptively complex. Conflicts and teasing get mislabeled as bullying and true bullying is too often mislabeled as teasing or a conflict. Until the problem of bullying is well defined, students will continue to struggle to enact solutions.
To help you and your students tackle step 1 of solving the problem of bullying, we’ve put together this fun cut-and-sort printable activity. Keep scrolling to grab your free, downloadable copy.
Below is the definition of what bullying is, along with the definitions of 3 situations that are often mislabeled as bullying.
After discussing these 4 situations with your students, work together to decide if the scenarios described on the 'Is it Bullying?' worksheet are bullying, mean, teasing, or conflict, or use the worksheet as independent practice to assess student understanding. This worksheet can also easily be pasted into a notebook for easy reference.
Get Your Free Template!
A. Blob is back, and this time it's on a bus! As the slimy bully pokes and pesters the children of Lincoln Elementary School, it seems like they will never be able to ride the bus in peace. That is, until one brave girl takes stand.
Can one act of bravery change everything--including A. Blob? Find out in this second installment of The Blob Series!
Before it was on a bus, A. Blob was on the playground. This first installment of The Blob Series follows the antics of A. Blob, as it wreaks havoc on the elementary school playground with its bullying ways. As the story progresses, however, readers learn that A. Blob may have more than meets the eye.
Along with its powerful illustrations and rhymed verse for early readers, this story invites children to put themselves in the shoes of another and encourages readers to consider why bullies behave the way they do – and start to consider what can be done to help.
About Laughing Leopard Press
Hello! We are Laughing Leopard Press, an independent book publisher from Akron, Ohio. At Laughing Leopard Press, we’re interested in publishing works that contribute to our understanding of this wonderful world. Through this blog, we hope to add to that understanding with commentary on life, literature, and a few things in between. We hope you enjoy the blog and take some time to talk with us in the comments or on our social media sites. Happy reading!
For some more great reading, check out our latest release, This is A. Blob by L. A Kefalos. This is A. Blob is a picture book that deals with the sticky issue of bullying through an unlikely character that is a bit sticky itself! As readers follow the antics of A. Blob, they learn to put themselves in the shoes of another and discover there may be more to this bully than meets the eye…
$1.00 is donated to charity for each book sold on this site--half to St. Jude's and the other half to PetFix Northeast Ohio.
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