Classroom Tools

How can teachers and parents engage students in these ideas?

Educators can support students and dramatically increase the likelihood that they will succeed by creating a school and classroom culture that promotes and reinforces the ideas shared on this site. In addition to school and district implementations of established programs that engage students in these ideas, educators and parents can use resources and information from this site to help students understand themselves as learners and apply new strategies on a daily basis.

After you have exposed students to the ideas of malleability of intelligence and self-regulation, help them apply these new ideas and strategies by incorporating the Problem-Solving Tool and Self-Reflection Tool provided here into problem-solving experiences. These tools are designed to support students’ persistence on difficult problems, and they are best used with increasingly challenging or complex tasks. Structured engagement with challenging tasks helps students to develop a personal toolkit of persistence strategies.

These tools are not designed to be used as worksheets that must be filled out completely, but rather to help teachers foster in students the explicit routines that effective learners practice as they tackle challenging problems. We have included two such problems on this site – The Towers of Hanoi and the Three Bucket Problem – that students can use to get started with these new tools.

See it in action
The Academic Youth Development (AYD) program includes these problems and tools. Use the links below to visit Agile Mind's informational AYD site where you can see video clips of them in action.

A teacher launches the Towers of Hanoi problem and students engage in it.

Algebra I students work with the Problem-Solving and Self-Reflection Tools as they solve a system of equations.

Thinking About Thinking: Problem-Solving Tool
While students work on a task, they can use the Problem-Solving Tool to help them persist and to examine their thinking.

Thinking About Thinking: Self-Reflection Tool
After students have finished a task, they can use the Self-Reflection Tool to consider their approach and to reflect on their process and progress.