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Brainstorm solutions to a problem | Students Compute like Computers to Solve Real Problems (Lesson 5 of 7) | K-2

Student Objective

Students will be able to:
1. Propose a solution to a problem they have identified and articulated by brainstorming using a digital tool (Padlet)


Materials Needed:

  1. Students will each require a computer
  2. Interactive Google Slides Activity (google slide 7 and 8)

Step 1: Own It – “How do you solve problems?”

  • Think-Pair-Share: Think of a problem you faced before.  How do you try to solve it?”
  • Exemplar Answer:
    • I thought of more than 1 ways to solve it first
    • Then I chose one of them I thought worked best
  • Scaffold:
    • Did you think of one way to solve the problem?
    • Did you think of another?
    • Did you try one of the ways you thought of?
  • Push Thinking:
    • How do you know if the solution you thought of would actually solve your problem?

Step 2: Introduce the Essential Question

  • Say: “Scholars, we continue to answer the question, ‘What steps do computers take to analyze numerical information and find problems that we can solve?'”
  • Say: “Today, we will take the fifth step computers take: Brainstorm solutions to a problem”

Step 3: Review key Terms and Define New Terms

  1. Numerical – made up of numbers only
  2. Situation – an event
  3. Data – information that is usually made up of numbers only (numerical)
  4. Bar Graph – a picture that represents our numerical data
  5. Values – a number that describes the quantity of something
  6. Solution – how  a problem is fixed
  7. Brainstorm – providing ideas and ways of solving a problem (new)

Step 4: Review the steps that students have taken so far

  • Include an anchor chart with these steps (as this would represent algorithmic thinking)
  • “Over the past few days, we’ve been thinking like computers and taking the steps computers take to find problems.”
    • “First, we collected data on an event: the number of marbles students wanted and the number of marbles the teacher had”
      • “and we we organized our numerical data”
    • Second, we visualized our organized data and turned them into bar graphs”
    • Third, we analyzed, or read, our bar graphs to make sure we understand what they’re saying”
    • “Fourth, we compared two bar graphs representing an event to discover a problem” (from google slide #7 exemplar)
      • We found:
        • Students wanted 2 more green marbles than I had in class
        • OR: I needed 2 more green marbles to make sure each student got the color marbled they wanted

[Check for understanding on the steps students have taken so far.  Cold call students to recite a step.]

Step 5: introduce the Enduring Question

  • “Now last lesson, we identified our problem” –> cold call a student –> stamp it (summarize) –>”So our problem is, ‘Students want 2 more green marbles than the teacher has to give”
  • “Today, we ask ourselves the question, “Once I find a problem, how do I try to solve it?”

Step 6: Introduce and Model brainstorming using a digital collaboration board (Padlet)

  • Introduce brainstorming as part of the fifth step computer takes
    • To solve a problem, the first step I take is to brainstorm different ways to solve a problem!
    • Define brainstorm:
      • Coming up with different ideas to solve a problem
  • Model for students what brainstorming is, using the digital board, Padel
    • After modelling, have students play around with the digital board to become familiar
      • Give them a simple task:
      • Write in your favorite color on the padlet board!
      • Write in your second favorite color on the padlet board!

Step 7: Have students brainstorm

  • “Our problem was, ‘Students want 2 more green marbles than the teacher has to give'” (show google slide 7 exemplar)
  • “In a moment, you will brainstorm solutions with your partner.
  • “Answer this question, ‘How could we solve our problem?'”
    • You will post your ideas on the digital board.
    • You have [ ]  minutes.  Go.

Step 8: Select students to share out there ideas

  • We are not evaluating the validity or feasibility of their responses at this moment

Step 9: Have students independently brainstorm solutions to a problem (in activity)

  • Provide students their own individualized google slide #8 with their own individual “problem”
  • Have students answer the questions to uncover the problem
  • Have students “brainstorm” at least 2 ideas on the right side
    • Make sure to check in on each student to see that they are brainstorming solutions

Step 10: Stamp the lesson and preview next lesson: Testing Solutions

  • “Today, we took the 5th step computers make to analyze information and find problems that we can solve:
    • we brainstormed solutions to a problem we identified from comparing two bar charts together
  • “In the next lesson, we will take the second to last step!
    • Test your solutions and see if they solve your problem!


EdTech used in this activity:


Alternative Ed Tech you could use:

Stormboard, Miro, Google Slides