The decision matrix

Submitted by Jean Gross on 29 July, 2021 - 19:00

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This is a useful tool to help children make decisions. Teach effective use of the tool :

1. Introduce the tool as a framework for helping them make the best possible decisions – their own decisions.

2. Normalize the use of the tool for all students in your class by introducing it as a universal strategy and not a stigma.

3. Let them know that the decision matrix is versatile and can be applied to many different types of decisions—both at home and in the classroom.

4. Model its use within various scenarios that they either have encountered or are most likely to encounter (e.g., bullying, conflict de-escalation, and choosing between the fun thing and the right thing).

5. Take time to explain the point system for weighing the pros and cons (positive numbers for pros and negative ones for cons) by paying close attention to the rules for adding positive and negative numbers. Using a number line can be particularly helpful with younger children—also, model tallying in different scenarios and have them practice adding and subtracting with negative numbers.

6. Give students time and space to use the tool and incorporate reflection as part of the decision-making process.