Monday, April 16, 2012

Decisions, Decisions...

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I was at an advisory council meeting the other day, and a parent asked one of the administrators how they would know if their child needed a modified test. The administrator said to talk with the IEP team and maybe use a decision tree for that issue. Well, unless you are schooled in flowcharts, and use them to help you make business decisions, you might not think of a decision tree as your go-to choice making tool. Deciding about a modified test has more guidelines to follow and you need to track data on performance to show a need for a modified test, so I didn't agree with the administrator's suggestion. Decision trees are usually used to predict monetary risks and potential value. Keep in mind the adage: use the right tool for the right job.

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There are other graphic problem solving organizers to choose if a decision tree doesn't quite fit your needs. One way to sort out information and feelings about a decision is to use a T chart as a way of organizing your thoughts, this was a favorite of my Dad's, it's simple and effective with most decisions.
Now there are many ways to graphically organize your thoughts and help you sort out the information in making a decision. Here are  links to thumbnails and printables of several variations of graphic organizers including: Venn Diagram, Fishbone Diagram and something they call a decision making diagram which is a step up from the basic T-chart.
You could also use a balance sheet as Ben Franklin did:

You may also consider a flowchart. Although after looking at the link, you may not.

There is even a flow chart to help you decide if you need a flow chart
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One method I use is the T chart or Pro/Con Sheet.  Usually when I need to make a hard decision I do as my dad taught me and write it out pro and con on a T-chart. So remember, we not only do we have to find a way to make decisions ourselves, but we need to teach our children the art of decision making too. It is fortunate for us that we have so many graphic ways of displaying the options now, so it is easier for visual learners like many of our special needs kids to learn how to use them.
The whole idea of a graphic organizer is to take the information and get it out of your head and organized on a computer or paper. In organizing the information it may show you the answer or that you need more information to make the decision.

Maybe if this individual had learned how to use decision making tools she wouldn't have regretted asking this guy for 56 tattoos on her face.

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