Learning and Sharing

More Flexible Thinking Strategies

on March 8, 2015

Hand writing be flexible



It gets frustrating sometimes when I must try to convince a teacher or administrator of the value of social thinking groups and how flexible thinking applies to a student’s academic performance and life-long success.  I try to show them that flexible thinking plays a key role in all types of learning.  The ability to think flexibly is the ability to shift the thinking process to interpret information in more than one way or to change approaches and strategies when needed.  Flexible thinking is all about being able to switch gears and find new ways to solve problems.  Flexible thinking means we might have to unlearn old ways of doing things, called set shifting, in order to use a new way.

Flexibility helps us to:

  • adjust to new situations
  • learn from mistakes
  • deal with changes in routine
  • figure out how to complete new school assignments
  • plan the day to fit in everything that needs to be done
  • pay attention to more than one thing at the same time
  • switch from one subject to another at school
  • try new things

Flexibile thinking is important for:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Written language
  • Math
  • Science and Social Studies
  • Learning a foreign language
  • Studying and test-taking

Practice in social skills group activities and playing games helps students get better at flexible thinking in real life.  Here are some of the games and activities that we use in Lunch Buddies to practice flexibility:




This is an oldie but goodie.  The activities using multiple meaning words are fun and helpful for the students to understand how words can be used in more than one way.  I believe that it is still available at





For practice in flexible problem solving, we use Fix The Problem! A Social and Emotional Problem Solving Game created by Joel Shaul and available as a free download at

PicMonkey Collage



Spot it! games require that players think fast and shift gears quickly.

PicMonkey Collage



Jokes, riddles, puns and figurative language are fun ways to learn flexible thinking skills.

PicMonkey Collage






My Best,



One response to “More Flexible Thinking Strategies

  1. […] course there are many other flexible thinking tools that you can […]

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