1= no problem/very small problem
To figure out the size of the problem we can ask ourselves three questions:
1. Is it dangerous?
2. How many people are having the problem?
3. How long will it take to fix the problem?
We watched the puppets act out various problems and looked at pictures of problems, then voted on the problem size. Nearly all kids were able to tell that most of the problems were a 1 or 2. These included:
- Not getting the toy they want at the store
- Not having their preferred food to eat
- Falling down and scraping a knee
- Getting a shot at the doctor's office
- Losing a game
- Getting in an argument with a friend
- Not getting their first choice at choice time
- Having a fire drill at school
We all agreed that if we were hiking up a mountain that turned out to be a volcano, that would be a really big problem. When we have a #5 problem, a big reaction like screaming and crying is okay. Anything else is relatively minor, and we can tell ourselves "it's not really a big problem!"
Each classroom got a poster of their own Problem Size thermometer with the three questions to keep. Students and teachers are encouraged to refer to the poster the next time someone in the class has a problem. Most of the time, it's going to be a small problem so we can match our reaction accordingly and remain calm, thank goodness!