The Teacher Tip

Be Mindful of Which Problems You Solve for Kids

August 2, 2017

Adapted from Self Directed Writers by Leah Mermelstein


Think about the type of help you give and which problems you actually solve. For example, if a student is struggling to come up with an idea even after you’ve given him some thinking time, you could remind him of a topic then send him. You would have solved his problem but he wouldn’t know how to solve it by himself next time.


Instead, you could try this: Share some strategies for how he could solve the problem and then ask him to choose and use one of these strategies.


Slow down and teach kids how they can solve problems on their own.

To learn more about Self-Directed Writers: The Third Essential Element in a Writing Workshopvisit

The Heinemann Teacher Tip app is a free download.