think ideas back to problem solving tools
This stage is about thinking ideas to solve the problem. Each case is different than the others, so even if you know what to do, you can think which is the most efficient way of solving this specific problem in this context. Many books tell you what to do to solve some type of problems. What they cannot tell you is which is the best way to solve the problem for you (with your knowledge, experience, motivation, skills, etc.).
I designed a technique called W.A.I.T. thinking about something simple and engaging to do individually.
W.A.I.T. stands for write, anderline (underline), interrogate and try to answer.
WRITE any thoughts you have in paper. You can write one or you pages about the problem.
UNDERLINE the sentences that have some special meaning for you.
INTERROGATE: Take each of the sentences and write questions related to them. Among them, write a question that the answer is the sentence you have underlined.
TRY TO ANSWER each question with any thoughts you have. If you don't know what to answer, do some research online (google, dmoz, youtube, etc.)
You could use other techniques:
You could write a list of ideas in paper or express the problem with a drawing. You could think what somebody you know would have done about it. You could choose a word of a dictionary at random and think what type of solution could suggest. You could compare the problem with some other type of situation and see what could be the ideas that could suggest. For example: a school could be like a hospital or like a cinema.
"The wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions" Claude Levi-Strauss