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The first thing to explain to your kids about Whole Brain Teaching is that everything in your class is a game. Each day you will list the games on the board.


Here is a sample of Day One list for elementary school.


1. Morning Message: Class Yes

2. Manners: Phonics

3. Mirror Words: Math

4. Class-Yes and Mirror Words: Reading

5. Teach-Okay: Review


And so forth until lunch. After lunch, put up the afternoon’s game list.


Point out that at the start of the year, the class will be playing Green Games (as noted by a green marker); the goal is to perform like mature students two grades older than the current grade. Though you will be using many Whole Brain Teaching strategies during the day, each game has a focus. The focus for Morning Message above is to perform Class-Yes with Green Power … like students two grades higher.  You may be using Teach-Okay all morning, but it becomes the special focus during Review (as listed above).


The advantage of a games list is that you can roll out Whole Brain Teaching techniques in any order you wish … fast or slow … and your students will remind you of what game you should be playing!



Here is a sample Day 30, morning game list. (Green = 2 grades higher; Blue = 3 grades higher)

1. Morning Message: Scoreboard

2. Phonics: Scoreboard - Diamond Rule

3. Math: Super Improver

4. Reading: Rule 1 & 2

5. Review Scoreboard - Diamond Rule

Simply by changing your marker color, you increase student engagement.   Kids love to think of themselves as older than they are!


A Day 90 list might look like the following (Green = 2 grades higher; Blue = 3 grades higher, Red = 5 grades higher!)

1. Scoreboard: Morning Message

2. Phonics: Scoreboard - Diamond Rule

3. Math:Super Improver

4. Reading:Rule 1 & 2

5. Review: Scoreboard - Diamond Rule


The timeline presented here of Day 1-30-90 is approximate. If you have rambunctious kids , it might be wise to save Blue Games for the lull after Christmas and the motivating challenge of Red Games for after Spring Break.  You decide.  It's your class.  Whatever your choice, at the end of your first year, you will make a lovely discovery.  The walls of Teaching Heaven are inscribed in red.


For Beloved Rascals who resist WBT strategies, point out that your class is modeled on video games. Games like Call of Duty and Candy Crush involve all brain regions: decision making, moving, seeing, hearing, speaking, feeling. This is why video games are so addictive … they are Whole Brain involving.


Your class is, of course, superior to any digital entertainment. Students aren’t racking up imaginary points, killing zombies or smashing digital candies, but gaining real smarts.


Tell your kids to forget about fiddling with cheesy apps seeking make- believe prizes … in your classroom, all day, they will be inside a video game getting smarter!


When students ask what they receive for winning a classroom game, reply, “Win enough times and, just like a video game, you go up a Level! Maybe someday you’ll get a crack at Purple Power.”