How few colors can you use to fill in a map so that no neighboring regions are the same color?
All AboutFuzzy Problems
A fuzzy problem, also known as an “ill-defined problem”, is one without a perfectly clear goal, path to success, or known solution. Most of the issues we grapple with are fuzzy in some way. Few of the problems we give students are fuzzy, however. Here are some ways to change that.
I’ve gotta admit, I’m a sucker for that classic Bloom’s Taxonomy. I really prefer the word “Synthesize” to “Create”. “Create” is so easily abused. We can “create” a list of the 50 states, but that sure isn’t at the top of Bloom’s. “Synthesize,” however, clearly reminds me that my students need to be bringing in […]
The calendar is a source of fantastic factoring problems with many social studies add-ons. Why 12 months? Why 30 (or 31 or 28) days? Why are weeks 7 days long? Why don’t they fit into the months (or the year!)? Why did we do this to ourselves and have any people done better?
Here’s a reading assignment: Erika McWilliam’s “From Sage to Guide to Meddler.” This paper discuses how we can get in the middle of our students’ learning, creating productive struggle by allowing kids to sit in their own confusion longer than they might like.
Teaching our students to identify the criteria behind a decision will make them better decision makers and help them understand others’ points of views.
Let’s tackle Torrence’s specific elements of creativity and build up students’ confidence in their creativity through vocabulary games, drawing games, and the alternative uses task.
Fuzzy Problems are, quite simply, the types of problems we face in our regular lives. Issues that have no best answer and no single path to a solution. Problems that are missing information and require best guesses. They’re the kinds of problems we want our students to grapple with.
Imagine that we all share a common resource, but no one is really in charge. How do we maintain order without an authority? This is a fantastically fuzzy situation for students to dig into.
We’re supposed to rank fifteen items according to usefulness if we were stranded on the light-side of the moon. The items range from pistols to powdered milk. Some seem useful, but are actually worthless while others seem unnecessary on earth, but are actually vital when stuck on the moon. However, the structure of the activity as a website is not optimal. Let’s improve this and make it an awesome problem–solving exercise for our class.
How often do you give your gifted students the opportunity to solve authentic, relevant problems? What is more authentic to a student than solving classroom problems? And what excites students more than having ownership over the classroom seating? Here’s an authentic problem solving idea that ties in public speaking skills, group work, and classroom ownership.