The problem solver's toolbox

A variety of tools for generating options and focusing options that you are probably familiar with. 
These tools can be used effectively in a variety of ways when guiding students through the six step model. 

Tony Ryan's thinkers Keys


Designed for late primary to early secondary students, the Thinkers Keys are very effective strategies for teaching children to think. There are 20 strategies, divided into critical thinking strategies (Purple Keys) and creative thinking strategies (Orange Keys).

Lesson 1 - Morphological Matrix


Do your students get stuck coming up with ideas for Challenges and Solutions? The Morphological Matrix can help! Lesson 1 dives into this idea-generating tool.

Lesson 2 - Evaluation Matrix


Ever wonder why Step 5 is part of the FPS process? An Evaluation Matrix (grid) is an important tool for making decisions. This lesson explores the interaction of Criteria and their ranking in the Evaluation Matrix.

Lesson 3 - Scamper


Worried about duplicates? Try SCAMPER! This is a great way for students to build on existing ideas to find new possibilities.

Lesson 4 - SML


Do your students struggle with elaborating their Action Plan? SML can help! By breaking down timelines and tasks, students can integrate this simple tool into their Action Plans for more thorough explanations of their ideas.

Lesson 5 - Force Fit


When there are two items that don’t go together, what do you do? Force-Fitting is a great technique to connect items and ideas.

Lesson 6 - PCA


When you have lots of ideas, but struggle to find the best one, a Paired Comparison Analysis (PCA) can help!

Lesson 7 - Brainstorming


This “classic” method of idea generation is often not used completely and effectively. Learn best practices for implementing it with students in this lesson!

Lesson 8 - Hit and Hot Sports


This lesson explores a tool for thoughtful decision-making.


Lesson 9 - Attribute Listing


Sometimes, idea generation takes us in different directions. Bring those directions together using Attribute Listing!

Lesson 10 - ALoU


What are the advantages of an idea? What are its limitations - and how do we overcome them? What does this idea give us that others do not? Find out in this video about ALoU!

Six Thinking Hats


The Six Thinking Hats is a role-playing problem solving technique that can be used to explore ideas and options, problems and solutions. Six Thinking Hats breaks down thoughts into six parallel areas, allowing the emotive to logical spectrum of thought to be separately discussed. 


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