Winter Mentor Text for Problem and Solution

Practice the reading skill, Problem and Solution, with this winter mentor text and lesson idea that will help you integrate technology!

Winter Mentor Text for the Reading Skill Problem & Solution

Winter is in FULL EFFECT here in Ann Arbor, Michigan! I have survived my first "Polar Vortex" and had a beautiful white Christmas. I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday and you have had a chance to relax & recharge for the New Year🎉

I am teaming up with The Reading Crew to bring you our winter mentor text linky. Each blogger has picked a winter book to giveaway to ONE lucky winner. To win these fabulous books enter the Rafflecopter that appears at the end of this post. Be sure to read everyone's posts to grab some lesson ideas for these books!

The book I am featuring is one written by the famous Olympian ice skater, Kristy Yamaguchi. Her book is called Cara's Kindness:

Practice the reading skill, Problem and Solution, with this winter mentor text and lesson idea that will help you integrate technology!

The copy I have to giveaway is even signed by Kristy!

Cara's Kindness is about a cat named Cara who is having a hard time picking out the perfect song for her new ice-skating routine. One day while she is practicing, a friend shows up to the rink but is struggling. Cara drops everything to help her friend and then asks that he pay it forward. The story is about all of the different characters lending a helping hand and paying it forward. Soon Cara's kindness is passed all around and even makes its way back to her!

You can grab this book by clicking on my affiliate link below:

I think this book would be a great read for grades K-2. The lesson below focuses on the story element problem and solution. Each phase of the reading process contains an idea for implementing technology. Use them all or choose just one..whatever makes you most comfortable!

Before Reading

To kick off this lesson, start by assessing your students' background knowledge about problem and solution using the E-A-S-Y student response system, PingPong. This tool is both web-based and available as an iOS app. Tools like PingPong are my FAVORITE because you can have some students on laptops/Chromebooks while others use iPads. Some classrooms have a combination of both.

PingPong is an EASY to use student response system that can be used on Chromebooks, laptops, computers and iPads. Multiple choice, True/False, Text and Drawing Images are all ways students can respond to questions. Great digital tool!

PingPong is a digital polling tool that I like to use with younger students. This tool is a bit different from Kahoot and Socrative because it involves very little preparation up front. Also, it contains four different response options:
  • Multiple Choice
  • True or False
  • Text
  • Image/Drawing😄
I first learned about this app from Technology with Teaching who put together an excellent video tutorial that you can view HERE. In 4 minutes you will understand and know how to use this simple digital tool.

Create a polling room by visiting http://gogopp.com/en/web and selecting Host (the teacher will have to sign-in). Students will visit the same website but select Guest and enter in the special code and their name. Then all you do is ask your questions aloud and students respond! E-A-S-Y.

Get this...your Room Code always stays THE SAME. Even if you decide to use PingPong the next day and sign in again, it is still the same code! Click on your code and you can personalize it any way you wish (as long as someone else doesn't have the same code)

Once students submit their response you can project the data in two different ways:


The tool does not save and archive the responses. It is intended for a quick check

All drawing responses will appear as little thumbnails:

Click on them to enlarge:

Side note: This webtool/app will allow students to submit emojis as responses when you launch the Send Text response:

iPad users can just use the keyboard iOS emojis. If students are using a Chrome browser on a laptop or Chromebook then they would need to install the EmojiOne extension in order to submit emojis as responses.

To use PingPong as a kickoff to this lesson, ask the following questions:
  • True/False: A problem is a challenge that someone or something faces.
  • Multiple Choice: ____(your name)____ forgot his/her lunch at home today. What can he/she do to fix this situation (solution)?
    • A) Cry
    • B) Drink water
    • C) Buy lunch in the cafeteria
    • D) Run up and down the hallway
  • Drawing: Sketch a picture about a time you faced a problem (have a few students share out when you project their drawing)
  • Drawing: Sketch a picture about how that problem was solved
  • Ask any other questions you feel would fit!

During Reading

Online Tally Counter is an easy to use web tool that will allow you to count using tally marks
Explain to your students that this story has lots of problems that end up being solved thanks to a good friend. As you read have students quietly take note of how many problems arise in the story. They could simply tally mark the number on a piece of paper OR they could tally mark digitally using a website like this Online Tally Counter. After reading, compare numbers as a class! Take a picture walk through of the story and discuss the different problems that appear. This is also a great review of the story.

After Reading

To assess your students' understanding of the story, have them complete this digital sort in Google Slides independently OR together as a class. They will drag and drop the text boxes on the outside of the slide to the empty boxes on the graphic organizer. If you have struggling readers then you might need to read the text aloud as they manipulate the sort. *Your students do not need to be signed into a Google account in order to use this activity*. You can make a copy for each student within one folder and share the link to the folder with your class. Or, you could share the link to ONE presentation and use it collaboratively. You could also just project it on your board and invite a few students to the computer or board to move the different pieces. This presentation can also be exported as a PowerPoint file by going to File>Download As"Microsoft PowerPoint.

Click the image above and you will be prompted to Make a Copy

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to WIN a copy of all our winter mentor text books:

The Techie Teacher's Mystery Word: ice skating

a Rafflecopter giveaway