Ideation Lab Activity

My initial Problem of Practice idea notes from Part 2 are the black text and my ideas for Part 4 revisiting the topic are the purple text.

Idea Notes

Questions you are struggling with:

  • This Problem of Practice is complex with many different variables, how do I narrow my focus?
  • Each student is different, how do I find one solution that works for everyone and every learning style?
  • How can I track their improvement or progress?
    • Maybe an color coded Excel or Google Spreadsheet shared with parents and students
  • How do I get students to buy into using my solution and follow through with it?
  • What can I do to foster more independence in the student?
    • Teach them the skills to use
    • Build strong relationships with the students and be there for support
    • Constant communication and check ins
  • How to I motivate students to do this when they aren’t motivated to do the homework in the first place?
  • How do I get other teachers and parents on board?
    • We could meet together and set up the plan together, like an IEP meeting
    • What do I do if there is no follow through at home or support?

Issues or variables that present a problem for you:

  • Narrowing my focus
    • Maybe focus on one class at first and see how that goes after one marking period and then start using in all classes
  • Variables outside of my circle of control- home situations, technology issues, schedule changes, family or work responsibilities, etc.
    • Social worker or counselor to help with this?
  • Cultural differences, age groups, course load, learning styles, motivation, and type of special education qualification (LD, OHI, EI, ASD, etc.)
    • With so many differences how can I keep up with giving every student what they need?

Thoughts you are kicking around in your head on your problem:

  • Are there too many uncontrollable variables?
    • There are a lot of variables, but I think taking those into account as best I can when coming up with a solution will help the student be successful. Some things are unpredictable and there is nothing we can do to avoid them though.
  • Is this Problem of Practice too big?
  • How will I come up with a solution?
  • Ask other teachers for their opinions

Possibilities, ideas, or solutions that have entered your mind:

  • Explicitly teaching organizational strategies
    • How and when? Cougar hour?  Maybe the freshmen orientation?
  • Alarms or reminders on phone to write down the homework or turn in the homework
  • Using remind/email to send out missing assignments to students or remind them to turn things in
  • Creating videos that focus on organizing assignments or time management skills- stress the importance of taking breaks, show students a sample schedule or map out how they should spend their time on homework
    • Explain how to disconnect themselves and free themselves of distractions (turn off phone/TV)
    • Importance of sleep
  • After school study sessions
  • Google Docs/Sheets
  • App for a smartphone
    • Research some options, wunderlist could be one
  • Daily planners
    • Only works for students who remember to get it signed and parents that support this routine
  • Weekly check ins
  • Creating a webinar
  • Session at the freshmen orientation meeting
  • Parent informational night
    • Advertise, send out reminders, parent confirmation
  • Resource website for help with organization or time management skills
  • Study buddy system within their classes
    • Set up with gen. ed. teacher or co-teacher at the beginning of the semester. Try to get a friend of the student.
  • Solutions cannot just be teacher focused, students need to buy in and take responsibility for their work. We want them to be working towards independence.  Maybe a scaffolded process within the solution would work?  Different solutions for different ages?


Throughout this ideation process, I had a number of questions that I wanted to answer.  I jotted down everything that came to mind.  Some ideas or questions I had sparked multiple bullet points and I just kept going with as many details as I could.  When I finally ran out of ideas it was time to take a break.  I listened to country music on my way home from my parents’ house which is about 30 minutes away.  This break was very refreshing and calming for me because I knew I was going to come back to my ideas.  At one point in the drive my friend called me to make plans for next weekend and my mind was completely off of my Problem of Practice.  This experience allowed me to deepen my thoughts and grow more ideas than I would have with just the first brainstorm.  I wrote all of my new ideas in purple and I was impressed by all of the things I added.  I can only imagine how many creative ideas would come from a group going through this process.  I connected to the article, “The Creativity Hack You Can Do in Your Sleep” because many of the facts proved to be true in my life.  I was a collegiate athlete and practices were my break from my studies.  After hours of school work and then practicing I felt rejuvenated.  The article said it best, “Our brains get tired; we get stuck; we let our brains rejuvenate; we make progress again. We can call this the ‘Rest Hypothesis’” (Stone 2015).  Our brains work better with some time off, therefore resting them is important.  Without proper rest our brains wear down and do not work as efficiently.  Sleep and breaks when the brain can rest allow time for incubation and are critical for creative thinking.


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