Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Make a Sweet Decision!

In 5th grade, I teach a lesson on problem solving using these "candy" problem solving steps. I call it "Sweet Decision Making." I use candy Smarties to help motivate during the lesson. Read below.

To make the candy, I used thin board canvas and wrote the following steps (using a paint pen) on each one. I then covered the canvas in colored cellophane tying the ends with ribbon to make it look like wrapped candy. I used red and green cellophane (strategically). The red candies signify the STOP and THINK steps and the green candy signifies the GO step.

Step #1: What is the Problem?

Step #2: What are some solutions?
               What could happen?
                    Will it hurt someone?
                    Will you get in trouble? Consequences?
                    Will it make you feel bad about yourself?

Step #3: What is the best choice?

First, I teach the students each of the steps. I give a scenario and walking through the scenario modeling how to use each of the steps (with some student assistance). Next, I give a scenario to the class. Every student who offers an answer, gets a pack of Smarties tossed to him/her. I purchase huge bags of Smarties every Halloween in the clearance section to use with this lesson. The students are not allowed to eat the candy at the time, but, it adds a little incentive to participate and it's fun to catch the flying Smarties! Also, I read on the Smarties packaging that they are peanut free.

After I am finished with this lesson in all of the 5th grade classrooms, I hang the "Sweet Decision" steps in the hallway for students to refer to later.

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