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Quick Start Guide: Whole Brain Teaching

2nd Grade
Nancy Stoltenberg

Director of WBT Certification

Director of WBT International Relations
Executive Board Member
Whole Brain Teachers of America

WBT Greetings and Ten Finger Woooo Welcomes!
Becoming a teacher is not a random career choice! Its a life long journey with lots of
twists and turns, ups and downs, cheers and tears, little sleep and no sleep, planned
lessons and teachable moments, and of course, coffee and chocolate!
My formal journey began after graduating with a BS in Elementary Education from Iowa
State University in Ames, Iowa. Since then, I have taught three years of Kindergarten,
one year in Forest City, Iowa and two years in a Montessori school in Merced, CA. I
taught first grade for eight years in Moreno Valley, CA, and 18 years in second grade in
Lancaster, CA. I earned my MEd in Special Education from Azusa Pacific University.
During these 29 years in the classroom, I have been through multiple trainings, earned
many certificates of achievement, and submitted hundreds of hours of professional
growth! I am rated Highly Qualified in the state of California! I have arrived! Or, have
When I first discovered Whole Brain Teaching in 2010, it was at a time when our state
budgets were beginning to crash! Class sizes, already large, were getting larger! I was
in a class of 36 second graders at a Title 1 school with a high percentage of Free Lunch
and transiency! Searching the internet for new management strategies, I happened
upon Whole Brain Teaching, featuring Chris Biffle, Chris Rekstad, and Andrea
Schindler! I couldnt stop reading the web site and watching the videos over and over!
The first time I said, Class! to my students, I witnessed change! As the days passed, I
became even more drawn to the energy and positive atmosphere WBT created in my
classroom. My students had a new twinkle in their eyes! Challenging students began to
twinkle, too! My tiredness at the end of the day was from teaching, not disciplining!
I started formal WBT training through the Model Classroom program with Deb Weigel in
2011. I then applied to the WBT Intern Program and was accepted! My teaching style
changed forever, with no regrets and no looking back!
In 2012, I finished the intensive internship and was selected as Director of WBT
Certification! Since then, I have had the pleasure of working with and mentoring
educators from all over the world! What an honor to be invited into classrooms from Italy
to China, to Australia, to India, to Spain, to Illinois, and so many more! I have found
teachers all over the world face many of the same challenges, no matter the language
or culture! I also find teachers truly follow a calling when they step into a classroom of
students each day!

The summer of 2013 became the Summer of Funtricity! I became a member of the
WBT Executive Board, and I was awarded Whole Brain Teacher of the Year! Oh,
yeah!! In 2014, I added another position as WBT Director of International Relations!
The WBT Journey continues
Whole Brain Teaching is not another tool in the teacher's tool belt ... Whole Brain
Teaching is the tool belt!" Chris Biffle

Getting Your WBT Classroom Ready

On Monday, the school year begins with the presentation of the Keys to The Classroom!
Well, actually, it is just a matter of signing a district form and getting my keys back from
our awesome secretary! I have to say, no matter what number it is, the same feelings of
anticipation and excitement swell up every year as they did so many years ago! Turn
the key, step in, and voila!

The blank canvas of the classroom can be a little daunting at first! Where to begin?!
That take a deep breath feeling eased up a few years ago when I made the plunge
into Whole Brain Teaching! Yes, I still haunt the local teacher store, dollar store, etc. for
great deals on supplies. I joined Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook too!
The big difference is, now my walls arent just decorated with eye-catching posters and

The elements of a WBT classroom do, however, allow for the creative style of individual
teachers, but the six most important elements that go up first are: the 5 Rules plus
Diamond Rule, the Scoreboard, the Power Pix Grid Wall, the Super Improvers
Team, the Brainies, and the Genius Ladder. Here is a simple explanation of each.

The New WBT Rules with Character Education Values

Rule 1: Follow directions quickly!

Rule 2: Raise your hand for permission to speak.
Rule 3: Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.
Rule 4: Make smart choices: Glorious Kindness, Leadership, Courage, Invincible Grit,
Rule 5: Keep your dear teacher happy!
The Diamond Rule: Keep your eyes on the target, please.
The 5 Rules plus Diamond Rule are the cover all your bases rules! These rules are
practiced orally with gestures EVERY day! For the first month of school, I practice them
at least five times a day. We practice at Morning Opening, before morning recess, right
after morning recess, before lunch, right after lunch, and just before we head out the
door to go home. I will even add another practice called a No Notice just to get the
energy up, or if I see a decline in student behaviors. My Rules are posted at the front of
the room for students and visitors to easily see. Information on how to obtain the
complete set of WBT Rules may be found at I
recommend you view Webcasts #515 , 559
, and 560 for information on the 5 Rules. The addition of

Character Education to emphasize Rule 4 may be viewed here: Watch Coach B and Andre Deshotel show their
classroom work with Manners here: and

The Scoreboard

The Scoreboard is the Motivator in WBT! It is used to reinforce positive behavior

throughout the day in an energetic and fun environment!

The Scoreboard may be drawn on your whiteboard very simply each day. You may
choose to wear a small laminated Scoreboard on a lanyard around your neck with a
small dry erase marker. It is very important to keep a portable Scoreboard with you at
all times, even beyond the classroom walls. Periodically, move the tally marks to the
main Scoreboard at the front of your classroom to keep students aware of their
progress! View Webcast #562 to learn more about the power of
the Scoreboard. Andrea Schindler, co-founder of WBT, has a recent video from 3/
2016 I recommend: As explained in the webcasts here, the
Scoreboard is a game with many levels like a video game.

Power Pix Grid Wall

The Power Pix Grid Wall is one of the most interactive tools in my classroom! It is a
work in progress as students are taught core standards. This will be used daily to
ensure all students are not only introduced to the standards, but are able to internalize
each, using critical thinking skills. The Power Pix are available under Free EBooks on
the WBT home page, View Webcast #529 at the WBT home page to learn more about Power Pix.

Super Improvers Team

The Super Improvers Team (SIT) is the heart of my room! There are so many effective
tools in WBT for classroom management, and the Super Improvers Team stands out as

an amazing way to reach ALL students! I remind students that the only person they are
competing with is themself, and I will be watching to see how each one is growing and
improving. There are 10 levels, with Level 1 being the top. Previously in my class, each
level was labeled with a different dinosaur. The T-Rex was the ultimate level, of course!
You are free to create your own theme for the levels. Make your SIT bright, bold, and
FUN!! I use index size pieces of construction paper to match the noted color of each
level. I have a Sharpie Pen close by to mark awarded stars. Check out Webcasts #503 and 563 for a more detailed explanation.

The Genius Ladder

The Genius Ladder is a model for creating oral and written language. Students
progressively work up from the bottom of the ladder, Blah sentence, to the top of the
ladder, a Genius paragraph. The model serves as a visible cue as students begin to
write orally, and later in print. Check out The Super Improver Writing Program and The
Writing Game, free E Books at Also, view Webcast #504 for more information.

The Brainies

The Brainies (Webcast # 574 ) are powerful WBT tools used to
help elevate reasoning, critical thinking, and Funtricity in your classroom! These simple
and fun cue gestures better enable students to grasp abstract concepts by activating
the motor cortex, visual cortex, and limbic system. Chris Biffle says, The Brainies are a
combination of sounds and gestures that when used are guaranteed to develop
amazing writers. By using these Brainies, students WILL be college ready and prepared
to write exemplary 10 page college term papers.
I introduce this activity the first week of school, so I need to have my materials ready for
each student. Above is an example of the Brainies Desk cue card, reduced in size, for
each student. Below are directions for preparing the Brainies and introducing them.
(Check here for a set with printed directions.)


I copy the sheet on card stock, cut apart, and laminate. Each student receives a copy
for personal use at their desk. I tape it below their Name desk plate for a quick visual
reference. Students use this as a cue card during Oral Writing, writing assignments,
Prove it!, and Brainy Competitions. As students learn the Brainies, they become less
dependent on the card as they speak and write. I make several extra cards to have
ready for small group instruction as well.
I introduce capital letter, period, because, and, comma Brainies first. I introduce
Brainies the first week of school to set the expectations in my classroom. The students
love the gestures, and they are asked to teach their families the gestures as well. If you
can afford the colored ink, I send an extra card home for use. I also keep extra copies
at the Small Group Instruction tables.


Desk Arrangement

With my six WBT elements in place, I move to desk arrangement. I have found that
keeping my desks in groups of two facilitates Teach-Okay. Students do not have to
decide partners, and they will automatically know if they are Partner One or Partner Two
by the position of the desk. In my classroom, Partner One occupies the desk closest to
the cupboards, and Partner Two occupies the desk closest to the windows. I do not
have to waste precious time reminding students which number they are. This placement
also allows me to move between students easily while they teach one another.
You have spent many hours getting your classroom stage ready for the big day! Take
a moment of pride and give yourself a Rolling Ten Finger Woooo! Your WBT
Classroom is coming together!

The First Minute, Hour, Day

The First Minute
The big moment has arrived! You can see your students walking towards you! Yes,
theres the new haircut, the Super Hero backpack, the I just lost my tooth at breakfast
this morning smile! Each has a story a mile long they cant wait to share with their
brand new teacherYOU!! Arent you glad youve got the WBT schedule ready to go?

If your school schedule allows, start your first WBT activity right in the hallway! Believe
me, second graders are very eager to please, and will jump right in with your first call
out of the school year! When the class is finally lined up, begin:

Teacher: Please look at me! I am [Name] and I am delighted that you are
Teacher: When I say Class, you say Yes! Whenever you say Yes, your hands
should be folded in the listening position and you should be looking at me.
Class! (Fold your hands to demonstrate.)
Students: Yes! (Students fold their hands together and look at you.)

However I say Class, you say Yes! Classity! Classity! (Fold your

hands again to remind them of the procedure.)

Students: Yesity! Yesity!! (Students fold their hands and look at you.)
Teacher: (Deep voice) Oh, class!
Students: (Deep voice) Oh, yes!
Teacher: (High voice) Class! Class! Class-a-dee!
Students: (High voice) Yes! Yes! Yes-a-dee!
I love, love, love Class-Yes! This powerful Attention Getter never fails to get your group
together! The more dramatic you make it, the more fun and engaging it will be!
Remember, you are making your first impression on your class for the year! Put some
Funtricity into it!
You already know there will be students who want to ask questions at this point, but
remind them you will answer questions later, and then move on.


(Note: If your first minute of the day is driven by previously scheduled events, dont
panic! Make your first minute happen when you can! In other words, the first minute
doesnt have to be the very first minute!)
Teacher: Class, oh Class!
Students: Yes, oh Yes!
Teacher: Please, sit down as quickly and quietly as you can!
Teacher: Fold your hands and look at me! (As you say this, fold your hands and
watch to see who copies your behavior. Coach Biffle says, Students who mirror your
gesture have activated their brains mirror neuronscentral to learning.)
Teacher: My name is _____ and I love your smiling faces! (Yes, say your name
again! Coach B says, Smile as you speak and watch who smiles back. Again, you
have activated their mirror neurons.)
Observe who is following directions and give praise. Remind them that theyve already
learned Class-Yes and theyve only been in 2nd grade for one minute! Isnt this
exciting? WBT is alive and well in your classroom!

The First Hour

This mornings lesson

Rule 1: Follow directions quickly!
The Scoreboard
Practice Rule 1
Learn student names
Practice Rule 1
Mirror Words

This afternoons lesson



Five Rules
Oral Writing
Review of the day!

I post this schedule on my board for the students to see. This schedule contains terms
that are brand new to them. Not only does it keep the interest of my students up, it
keeps me on target throughout the day. For second grade, I choose to cover up the
afternoon section of the schedule until after lunch. You may choose to cover up more of
the schedule depending on the ability of your class to stay focused on the activity at
Standing in front of your class, practice the Class-Yes a few more timesremember to
smile, be confident, and be in charge! You are ready to teach Rule 1! Oh, yeah!!
Rule 1: Follow directions quickly!
Teacher: When I say Class, please say Yes! [Dramatic pause ... show that your
hands are still folded.]
Teacher: Class! Class!
Students: Yes! Yes! (Students fold hands and look at you.)
Teacher: Today, Im going to teach you the first of our Five Rules.
Rule 1! Follow directions quickly! (Make gesture of your hand quickly moving
forward like a fish swimming quickly.)
When I say Rule 1, you sayFollow directions quickly! and make the gesture for
Rule .
Teacher: Rule 1! (Raise your arm up high with pointer finger up.)
Students: Follow directions quickly! (Some of the students may make the gesture.)
Teacher: Very nice! Lets try again, but we need to be faster! Rule 1!
Practice this two to three times.

Teacher: Class! Class! Class! (Fold your hands.)

Students: Yes! Yes! Yes! (Students fold their hands and look at you.)
Teacher: Now, lets practice following directions quickly! (Quickly give some short
commands Look upLook downRaise your handetc. Be sure to praise for
Teacher: Class! Class! Class!
Students: Yes! Yes! Yes!
Teacher: Rule 1 will help us learn and have fun! Raise your hands if you think
Rule 1 will be good for our class. (No matter the number of hands raised, continue
on with the following statement.)) I agree that Rule 1 will be good for our class!


Introduce the Scoreboard next to your class. The first day I use the Scoreboard, I have
it illustrated on the white board at the front of the classroom with a Frownie face and a
Smiley face. (These are from the generous and extremely talented teachers at, but you can draw the faces as well.) I want students to
focus their attention there for the initial instruction. I will show them my portable
Scoreboard later.

Teacher: Class! (clap,clap) Class!

Students: Yes! (clap, clap) Yes!
Teacher: You are amazing students! You have already learned Class-Yes and
Rule 1! I think youre ready for the Scoreboard game! Tell the person next to you
with great happiness, Im ready for the Scoreboard game! Are you ready for the
Scoreboard game?
Students: (turning to each other with great happiness and big smiles) Im ready for
the Scoreboard game! Are you ready for the Scoreboard game?
Teacher: Classity, Class!
Students: Yessity, Yes!
Teacher: All you have to do is KEEP THE SCOREKEEPER HAPPY!! Im the
Scorekeeper! Tell your neighbor the Scorekeeper is the teacher!!
Students: The Scorekeeper is the teacher!!
Teacher: Class! Oh, wonderful class!
Students: Yes! Oh, wonderful yes!
Teacher: Today, we are playing for more or less recess! Say, I can dig it!
Students: I can dig it!
Teacher: I will put a tally mark under the Smiley face when you are doing
something that keeps me happy! When I put a mark under the Frownie, that
means you are doing something that doesnt keep me happy. Tell your neighbor,
We want Smilies!
Students: We want Smilies!


Teacher: When I mark a Smiley, I will say Mighty Oh, yeah! As soon as I lift my
marker off the board, you need to QUICKLY clap your hands and shout, Oh,
yeah! (Show students the gesture and practice it several times together. Model the
right way and wrong way. Dont assume they know the right way!)
When I mark a Frownie, I will say Mighty Groan! As soon as I lift my marker off
the board, you need to QUICKLY lift your shoulders to your ears and give a very
fast Ugh! (Show students the gesture and practice it together. Again, model the
right way and wrong way. Dont assume they know the right way!)

Rule 1 Practice
Teacher: To begin the Scoreboard game, what keeps me happy is a class that
can follow Rule 1! What doesnt keep me happy is a class that doesnt follow
Rule 1! (Using the Scoreboard, give more Rule 1 practice)
Stand upToo slow!...Mighty GroanSit down!...A little slowanother Mighty
GroanNow you have to be really fastStand up! Great job!...Mighty Oh,
yeah!...Rule 1!...Not enough gesture!...Mighty Groan!...
Again, remind students they have to wait for you to lift that marker off the board before
they clap their hands quickly with an, Oh, yeah! When you mark a Frownie, they
need to hear you say, Mighty Groan! before they very quickly raise their shoulders to
their ears and make a very fast Ugh!
The +/- 3 Rule is a must with the score. Never let the difference between Frownie tallies
and Smiley tallies be more than 3! If the game is too easy, or too hard to win, your
students will lose interest! Smilies are not easily given, which makes students work
very hard to earn them. You control the score to heighten the engagement! By using
the Scoreboard consistently throughout the day, and emphasizing that the students in
your class work as a team to support each other, student participation will stay high!
Want a fast way to energize your class and your Scoreboard? Use Ping Pong!
Students and teachers LOVE this Power Boost!


Extremely important note: Smilies can be earned as a result of even one students
special efforts, but a Frownie may only be given for a Team mistake, not an individual
error. We never chastise or punish an individual student before their peers.

Name Game
In WBT, we have a fast, efficient, and fun way to learn the names of your studentsall
of them!

Coach Bs Name Game is not only fantastic for quickly learning your students names, it
is a great way to set your expectations for getting students to answer questions with
complete sentences!
When you ask, What is your name? you will model how you expect them to answer.
My name is Since you expect college talk (complete sentence answers) in your

class this year; you get the ball rolling with the expectation of your students answering
in complete sentences the very first day! Play this game with lots of energy!
Remember, these are young students with fragile attention spans. Theyve only been
in your class for a short period of time! You most likely dont know who might roll out of
their chair at any moment! So to keep engagement high, I use a script similar to this:
Teacher: Oh, class!
Students: Oh, yes!
Teacher: I just LOVE to play games! One of my favorites is the Name Game! Its
really fun! Its really fast! And, the only things you need to know for this game
are your name and how to listen really well! Tell your neighbor, I can play this
game! Piece of pie!
Students: I can play this game! Piece of pie!
Teacher: So this is how we play! I am going to point at someone and say, What
is your name? That person will answer back with their name in this sentence.
My name is _____. (To help students remember what to say, I have a sentence
frame on the board for them to use if needed.)
Teacher: (Point at a student you believe will answer quickly.) What is your name?
Student: My name is Tom. (If the student does not answer with a complete sentence,
prompt with, Complete sentence, please. Student should try it again.)
Teacher: (Once student answers prompt, always ask the child to repeat their answer
again.) Please, say it again. (After you have called on 3-4 students, tell the students:
Repeat after me. You will then point at a few students and say, This is Susan.
Students echo back. This is Bill. Students echo back. When you come to a student
that has been introduced previously, but you cant remember the students name, dont
panic! Just say as you point to that student, What is this students name? At least
one person in that class will know! Continue on with the game, pointing to a student
and asking them, What is her name? This gives the class a chance to practice the

names, and it will help you learn the names also! If you forget a name anytime during
the day, use your class to help you! Class, what is his name? Your students will help
you on the spot! Now you can proudly say at the end of the day, that you know all your
students names, not just the names of those three people in trouble on the playground

Classroom Procedures with 3Peat

Procedures, procedures, procedures! These make or break a class! You know
exactly what it is like to step into a classroom where disorganization is evident
just by the frantic look on the teachers face! You cannot start teaching
productively until you have procedures! So, starting the VERY first hour of the
day, teach procedures! I will say that again! Teach procedures! Teach
procedures! Teach procedures!

Rule #1, Follow directions quickly! has been introduced and practiced several times at
this point of the day. Teaching procedures using 3peat, involves the repetition of this
rule several times. Setting your expectations is very important that first hour and
throughout the day!
We repeatedly use Seats, Seats, Seats, Bodies up, up, up, and Lines, lines, lines
during the day. Any direction that you want a quick student response to will become a
3peat! Here are some examples:
Teacher: Bodies up! Students: Bodies up, up, up! Your students should
immediately stand and push in their chairs, if appropriate, and stand straight without a
sound. I model the RIGHT way and the WRONG way to do this. Do not assume they

understand your expectations the first time they hear the direction! Practice, and use
the Scoreboard!
Teacher: Line!

Students: Line, line, line! Your students move quickly and orderly

to the line-up area without a sound! Use the Scoreboard, and MODEL again.
Teacher: Seat! Students: Seats, seats, seats! Students must move to sit down,
feet under the desk, hands folded on the desk.
With all of these commands, and any others you choose, practice the Right way and
Wrong way! If you are not consistent with your expectations, your students will cue right
into that! Whatever level of response you are willing to accept, that is what you will get!
Make it right the first time, and realize you will be practicing a lot! Use the
Scoreboarda lot! You should have a total of at least 10 marks on it by the end of the
first hour!

Mirror Words
At this point in the schedule, its time to pull out your MIRROR! Oh, yeah! There are
three kinds of WBT Mirrors, but for the first day, our focus is on Mirror Words. You will
be using this amazing technique from the first day of school until the last day of school!
It is that powerful! This can be used for teaching and reinforcing any concept or
procedure throughout your day! You will get an instant read on who is participating and
who is not! Informal assessments start here, on the first day of school!! Here is a script
for introducing mirrors to your class:
Teacher: Class! Class! Class!
Students: Yes! Yes! Yes! (Reminder: Students should fold hands quickly and look at
you intensely! I call it Laser Eyes! Remember, use your Scoreboard!)
Teacher: When I say Mirror Words, you say Mirror Words and pick up your hands
like me. Mirror Words! (Your hands should go up quickly with palms facing forward.)
Students: Mirror Words (Students raise hands with palms facing forward.)


Teacher: That was pretty good, but you need to go faster! We dont waste any
time in 2nd grade! Mirror Words!
Students: Mirror Words! (Students raise hands fast this time!)
Teacher: Great job! Mighty Oh, Yeah! (Mark the Scoreboard with a tally on the
Smilie side to reinforce their response.)
Students: Students clap quickly and call out, Oh, Yeah!
Teacher: When I say Mirror Words, you say Mirror Words and raise your hands
quickly. Whatever I say, repeat back. However I move my hands and arms, move
your hands and arms the same. Mirror Words! (Quickly raise your hands, palms
Students: Mirror Words! (Students repeat and quickly raise hands, palms forward.)
Teacher: Today is (Sweep your arms wide with lots of energy. This is not only more
FUN, but it gets everyone engaged in your energy!)
Students: Today is (Students repeat and sweep their arms wide.)
Teacher: the first day of second grade. (Hold out one finger and then switch to two
fingers out.)
Students: the first day of second grade. (Students repeat and hold out one finger and
then switch to two fingers out.)
Teacher: I am so glad (Pat your hand rapidly on your heart!)
Students: I am so glad (Students repeat and pat their hand rapidly on their heart!)
Teacher: that we (Circle your hand towards them and back to yourself, dramatically.)
Students: that we (Students repeat and circle their hand towards you and back to
themselves, dramatically.)


Teacher: will be learning together this year! (Touch your fingers to your brain and
massage it!)
Students: will be learning together this year! (Students repeat and touch their fingers
to their brain and massage it!)
Teacher: Mirrors off! (Drop your hands and fold them together so they can see what
you did.)
Students: Mirrors off! (Students repeat, drop their hands and fold them together.)
Note: Mirrors off will signal the end to this activity. Students hands are folded and
their eyes are looking at you! Oh, yeah!
Coach B says, Your kids will magically repeat after you and imitate your gestures. You
now have everyones mirror neurons locked into yours. 100% STUDENT

The Rest of the Day Schedule

This afternoons lesson
Five Rules
Oral Writing
Review of the day!

The afternoon begins! Now that you have taught your students Class Yes, Rule 1, and
some of the 3-Peat Procedures, you need to Activate the class! Its time to instruct your
class about Teach-Okay, also known as the WBT Activator! Teach-Okay turns your
students into Teachers! Yes, its true! You were just blessed with the addition of 30
(however many students you have) Teacher Assistants in your class! Oh, joy! And they
said there was no budget this year!! Now I am going to show you how to get your best
help out of these brand new assistants!


Step 1
Just as you started the day with Class-Yes, you will begin this set with the same call
Teacher: Class! Class!
Students: Yes! Yes
Teacher: Today is a very important day in 2 nd grade for you! Tell your neighbor,
Today is a very important day! (Students repeat this statement to the student closest
to them.)
Teacher: Class, class, class!
Students: Yes, yes, yes!
Teacher: Today, you all are going to learn how to be teachers! Yes, teachers!
Say, oooooo! (Students energetically respond with ooooooo!)
Teacher: So to get started on learning to be a teacher, I am going to show you
how to do Teach-Okay! Class!
Students: Yes!
Teacher: When I say Teach!, you say Okay! Teach!
Students: Okay!
Teacher: However I say Teach!, you say Okay! (Clap Clap) Teach!
Students: (Clap Clap) Okay!
Teacher: (Using a high voice) Teeeach!
Students: Okaaay!
Step 2
You are now going to add in the next level of Teach-Okay: The Full Turn!
Teacher: This time when I say Teach! you will say Okay! and quickly make a full
turn in your seat facing your partner so that you will be knees to knees. (Model
what you expect) Teach!
Students: Okay! (while turning quickly in their seat to the partner, facing knees to

Teacher: Class, class!

Students: Yes, yes! (as they quickly turn back to you with their hands folded)
Note: Repeat these two steps several times. Be sure to model the Wrong way and the
Right way to do this
Step 3
The next element is the Hands Up Ready to do Gestures.
Teacher: You are getting really good at Teach-Okay, so I think you are ready for
the next part. While you are making that quick, full turn to your partner, you need
to put your hands toward your partner so you are ready to make big gestures!
(Model this the Wrong way and Right way) Teach! Teach!
Students: Okay! Okay! (turning quickly, and raising both hands prepared to gesture)
Note: Repeat these three steps several times, practicing the Right way and Wrong way!
Step 4
The next step is adding the Conversation.
Teacher: Fantastic! You are ready! When I say Teach, you will make a full turn,
hands up to gesture, and teach your partner Yada Yada Yada (Use wiggly fingers
for gestures) over and over until I say Class again! (Clap Clap) Teach!
Students: (Clap Clap) Okay!
Teacher: (Call them back fairly quickly) Class!
Step 5
The last step today is the Partner element. I seat my students in groups of twos and I
tell them ahead, Partner 1 is the person closest to the closet doors. Partner 2 is closest
to the windows. It eliminates a lot of discussions on who is who when I call out Teach!
(Look at the design of your room and decide your focal points) Partner 1 will stand and
teach first, while Partner 2 Mirrors. Using High 5 Switch, Partner 1 High 5s Partner 2
and they immediately change roles, with Partner 2 rising and Partner 1 sitting and
raising hands to Mirror Partner 2. Remind students that they KEEP Teaching and
mirroring until they hear you say, Class! Using Switch ensures that Talkers become
skilled at Listening and Listeners become skilled at Speaking!
Teacher: Class! Oh, class!


Students: Yes! Oh, yes!

Teacher: When I say Teach, you and your partner will take turns teaching each
other Rule 1, Follow Directions quickly (use gesture of fish swimming quickly through
the water) Partner 1 will go first. Use High 5 Switch to take turns! (Clap Clap)
Students: (Clap Clap) Okay!
Note: In WBT, we teach the students to put their arms out and say, Help me! when
they are confused or dont know an answer. This encourages all students to contribute
to conversations.

Rules 2-5 and the Diamond Rule

Now we begin work on the other WBT Rules. Use big energy and big gestures. Just as
you taught Rule 1, you will teach the rule with the correct gesture. Using Teach-Okay
sets, students will practice, practice, practice! Mark that Scoreboard! Dont forget the
+/- 3 guideline for tally marks.
Rule 2 Raise your hand for permission to speak! (Raise two fingers, and then make
a talking motion with your hand held near the side of your mouth.)
Rule 3 Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat! (Raise three fingers,
and then walk two fingers down your outstretched arm. When your fingers get near your
wrist, have the two fingers fall off and cry out, AHHHH!)
Rule 4 Make smart choices! (Raise four fingers, and then alternately tap your
temples with one finger.) Glorious Kindness (Extend one palm for Glorious and then
the other for Kindness.) Leadership (Raise one finger.) Courage (Flex your muscles.)
Invincible Grit (Tap your heart.) Creativity (Paint and invisible painting.)
Rule 5 Keep your dear teacher happy! (Raise five fingers, and then use both hands
framing your mouth and make a smiley face.)
Diamond Rule Keep your eyes on the target, please!
Modeling the Right Way and Wrong way is especially important to demonstrate your
expectations! When someone makes a mistake, we do not tolerate ridicule. Students

learn to say, Youre still cool! I remind them that our class is a Team, and we
support our teammates!
With these tools in their back pockets it is time for a Fun Burst!



The Fun Burst in the afternoon is especially effective in helping students release some
energy, while also keeping the learning mode intact! As Coach B states in the slide
above, the Class/Yes is a must for instant control!

Oral Writing

Oral Writing is the finale of the day, and it notches up the energy in a group of 2nd
graders who have been looking for the fridge since 10:00 am! That first day can be an
endurance test, especially after a summer with little or no set schedules! We work on
Blah and Spicy sentences! I use a sentence frame, The dog is big. Students, working
with their partner, come up with as many nouns as they can to replace the noun dog.
You will be able to incorporate Teach/Okay into this activity, since students have
practiced it earlier in the day with the Rules. For the Spicy sentence, switch to, The
brown dog is nice. Again, students work with their partner to replace the adjective
brown with as many words as they can. Working with a partner encourages
participation from everyone, especially children who are not comfortable sharing with
the whole class yet.
Coach B has presented webcasts on the First Hour and the First Day. (See the WBT
Video Library #532 and #533 ) Using the
suggested schedule for the day, I organize my presentation accordingly. I love the
flexibility it gives me to adjust it to my schools schedule too!


End of Day
Clean-up the room, one more whole class 5 rule rehearsal, and youve just completed
your first very full day of Whole Brain Teaching! Ten Finger Wooos to everyone! Now
its time for Backpacks! Backpacks! Backpacks! Off to waiting parents with lots of
experiences to share about the first day! Oh, yeah!!!

The First Week

Youve completed the first day, but what do you do the rest of the week? Practice,
practice, practice everything! You may have new students still registering, so there will
be several FIRST days occurring. The great part now, is that your other students
become models and teachers with you.
Start every morning with Class! Yes! Make it funchange it up with some different
sound effects! There is NO Boring students in a WBT classroom! What are the
procedures you want students to know? Putting backpacks away, turning in notes from
home, sitting down quickly with hands folded ready to learn? Yes to all of these! These
are your 3peats we used with Rule 1 the first day.
In my class, we quickly take attendance, lunch count, and then Pledge of Allegiance.
Next, we do the 5 Rules practice. (We will practice the rules again before leaving for
recess, right after we come in from recess, right before we leave for lunch, right after we
come in from lunch, and right before we go home!)
Use the Scoreboard! I mark it when students enter through the door in the morning!
Set your bar high for classroom behaviors! If you are okay with your class walking in
noisily and not sitting down quickly to learn, then thats what you will get. Model and
practice what you expect! The Scoreboard helps support and reinforce those
expectations, but you have to use it all day long! Remember to have a portable mini
Scoreboard to carry with you when leaving the classroom. Your students need to
understand they are accountable for following those rules wherever they are, not just in
the classroom!
You should have the Super Improvers Team set up and ready to go, but dont
introduce it or explain it the first week.
Mirror Words and Teach-Okay will be used and modeled for anything you are
teaching! You want 100% student engagement all day long! These tools are powerful!
Practice again, the right way and wrong way for implementing these. Remember to
smile, and remind your students to smile too!!


On the first day, I started the Genius Ladder to build a Genius sentence at the end of
the day. This activity now becomes one of my first activities of the day. I find if I
prioritize it for the beginning of the day, I dont get to the end of the day and realize we
ran out of time! Its too important! Writing in my room is done for at least 10 minutes
every morning, every day! You will be transferring the skills learned in the Genius
Ladder as you write in your subject areas throughout the day. Initially, this writing is
Oral Writing accompanied by the Brainies. Make it fun! Big gestures! Silly sentences!
To get more support with writing, check out SuperSpeed Electronic Grammar and
Whole Brain Writing under Free Ebooks at
As the first week ends, you are going to find that your students are becoming more
automatic with their participation in all the WBT elements you have introduced and
practiced daily! You will find a whole new energy in yourself, as you spend more time
teaching and less time disciplining! Funtricity is alive in your class!

The Rest of the Year


With the addition of WBT Character Education, each week you will introduce and model
the virtue of focus that day. The first Monday, you will introduce Glorious Kindness.
The second week, you will focus on Glorious Kindness Monday, and then on Tuesday,
you will introduce and model Leadership Tuesday. The third week, you will focus on
Glorious Kindness Monday, Leadership Tuesday, and then on Wednesday, introduce
and model Courage Wednesday. After five weeks, you will have introduced all five days
of the highlighted virtues. While the virtue of that day will be a special focus, students
are to be reminded that all five virtues are important every day, and not just that one
noted day. Important Note: These virtues are NOT separate topics! Each virtue will be
integrated and woven into curricular instruction throughout the day! (Download the Free
Ebook, Character Education at )

Scoreboarda Living Video Game created by Chris Biffle!

The Scoreboard will be a constant in your room all year! I let my students know that in
order to earn a Smiley mark, they will need to work as hard as 4th graders! I ask them if
they think they can do it, and they always answer, Yes! So we model what 4th graders
look like when they are learning, lining up, using Mirror Words, etc. You will be amazed
at how hard they will work for that 4th grade mark! Here is an image of a 3rd grade

A complete explanation of the multiple levels of the Scoreboard can be seen at and


The Rules
Daily practice of the Rules occurs all year! Remember to add Funtricity to this practice
by changing up your voice, adding in



gestures, calling on a student to

lead the practice! I even practice them on the last day of the school year! Your students
will let you know if you forget those practices too! So what do you do when you have
some challenging students? At the beginning of the year, you will be practicing and
modeling your expectations a lot! If you have some students who are having difficulty
participating in class appropriately and not following the rules, you have some choices:
First, use a Whole Class Rule Rehearsal! You may, without naming names, inform
the class that you have noticed that it looks like Rule___ needs some extra practice
and you are available at recess to help them get this one right. They will not be happy
to take recess time!
Secondly, there is the Rule Call Out! If you haven't explained this to your students yet,
tell them that learning rules takes practice and team effort. When you notice that
students on the team are having a problem with a rule, you will call out that Rule #.
When they hear you, the class must immediately recite that rule with gestures !
Practice and model this. No need to mark the Scoreboardthis is an amazing way to
let your class quickly bring order back while you continue to teach! Every second is
Third, I use what I call a Rule Walk By! During a Teach-Okay set, walk near the
offender(s) and whisper, "Rule __." or with your fingers, indicate a Rule number. Keep
walking ...don't engage in conversation. Often this simple, quiet cue is enough to get

that student back in sync with the lesson. If the behavior continues, when recess
comes, tell the student(s) that you are concerned that they seem to be having difficulty
following Rule ___. You really want to help them get it right. Give them the option of
reciting the Rule with gestures for 30, 60, or 90 seconds. You will be amazed to see
how most students do not choose 30 seconds! If someone doesn't take the rehearsal
seriously, start that person's timer over. No scolding, just rehearsing!
Finally, the latest and greatest from Coach B is the Recess Squad! Here are his
complete directions on how to start using this game the very first day of school!

Chris Biffle, Coach B For an instant fix of student misbehavior, even on the first day,
draw a box on the whiteboard labeled, Recess Squad. Beneath the box, write one
feature of classroom management you want to see in class. For example, you might
highlight follow directions quickly, raise your hand for permission to speak, or teach your
neighbor with large gestures. Then, when you see one or more students not engaging
in this behavior, look away from them (avoiding the possibility of them glaring at you
with dagger eyes!), and say, Some of my friends over there (wave in their general
direction) need some recess practice. Place an X in the box, not the students name!
This keeps everyone in suspense and also stops individual complaints like, I wasnt
doing anything. Then, at recess, simply ask selected students to practice the behavior
you have highlighted for 30 seconds. Say, Good. Youve really improved in that skill.
Now I know youll be able to do that in class. Go out to recess! To amp up the Recess
Practice Box, when you note a Beloved Rascal has fixed her behavior during class,
draw an arrow from an X pointing it outside, escaping, from the box. Say, Ah, one of
my friends is doing much better. No practice needed there. Againkeep it mysterious
and youll have everyone trying to improve!


Practice Cards
The Practice Cards are attached to my front board, but I never introduce them before
Christmas. (Webcast #565 You may be tempted to start using
these earlier if you have a tough class, but dont! Lots of Rule rehearsal whole class,
and individual practice at recess, really make a big difference. I highly recommend the
Super Improvers Team stay energized and actively used! Even my toughest behaviors
made huge improvements when the SIT was in place and appropriate goals were
individualized for students.

Super Improvers Team

The Super Improvers Team (SIT) will be activated about the second week of school.
As mentioned earlier, it should be on the wall ready to go the first day of school, but not
addressed until 7 to 10 days into the school year. Having it posted creates a lot of
interest! The students are very anxious to know why their names are on a white index
card on the wall.
The SIT is a very positive tool in a classroom, and awards students for improvement,
not ability! Explain to your students that they are the newest players of Room # Super
Improvers Team for 2016! Go Team!!


Each player (student) will have a card and will be competing only with himself/herself to
show improvement in a goal for reading, writing, math, following school rules, etc.
Whenever you catch him/her getting better at this goal, he/she will receive a star on
his/her card. I usually mark stars during recess breaks or after school, but if I see
someone doing something that warrants immediate reinforcement, I will stop teaching
and RUN across the room to mark that card! You will find that students will make a bee
line to check their cards at break times, or first thing in the morning!
Big, Big pointthe stars can never be taken away, ever! When a student has 10 stars
on his card, she/he moves up a level, the class celebrates with Ten Finger Wooos, and
the card, signed by me with a special note of congratulations, goes home for the
refrigerator! A new card is put up for the next set of stars.
At the beginning of the year, give lots of praise and few stars. When a star is finally
marked on the card, it will be a really big deal! Around January, increase the star
awards slightly. By the end of the year, stars should be ramping up on those cards!
Students work very hard to reach the top level of Living Legend, which means they have
demonstrated evidence of 100 improvements or more! If they are one of the very few to
get there, I take their picture and place it on the wall, where it will remain as long as I
am teaching school! Here is a picture of my Living Legends!

Here is a webcast to give you more details:

Power Pix and Core Standards


Power Pix! What are they? How do I use them? Are they appropriate for all students?

Using Power Pix in my classroom helps to ensure my students are not only learning
and comprehending the state standards, they are also able to articulate them within the
district guidelines for curriculum and the district pacing plan. I introduce the Pix in the
order of the pacing plan, using the 5 Step Lesson Template (WBT Video Library). Then,
instead of setting the Pix aside when we move into the next chapter or unit of study,
they remain posted on a grid wall for daily review. No more having to say to your class,
Remember when we were learning about synonyms last October? No, now its,

C7! What is a synonym? The gesture and answers become automatic for all learners
because of the visual, verbal, auditory, and physical participation by every student in the
repetition of each Pix daily!

When the school year begins, I have already set up a blue grid wall for Language Arts
and a red grid wall for Math. These walls are initially empty of Pix. I start with two Pix
from LA and two from Math. They are posted on my front white board and introduced
using the 5 Step Lesson Template. (When you download the free Power Pix, you will
find they even come with a script to help you!) The Pix stay on the front board until the
majority of your class has grasped the concept. I usually allow one week. At this point, I
have a duplicate, reduced size Pix ready to go on the grid wall. (I have to reduce the
size because I have limited wall space, and I want to make sure the Pix stay visible for
the year.) The larger size Pix then go into a notebook for small group or individual use
after I take them down from the front board.

The grid wall becomes a major cue system for recalling the standards. I make Power
Pix practice a standard part of our daily morning routine. After I feel like the procedure
for morning practice has become routine, I start choosing two student leaders each day
to go up and call out the grid info. These students will each choose a Pix from the Math
and one from the LA. For example, B2! The class responds back, B2! The student
leader and the class will then recite together the Pix question with a gesture and the

answer. Repeat this procedure for each of the choices the student leaders have picked
that morning. Because the Pix stay visible to the class all day, they can easily be used
for small group or individual instruction and review as needed. Here is a video showing
daily practice of the Pix in my room:

The Brainies

Coach B stresses, If you can say it, you can write it! Everyday put up one or
two Brainies: Capital Letter, Because Clapper, For example, Also, Compare, etc.
When the kids are talking to each other during a Teach-Okay set, you are looking
for them to add a gesture to note a concept . We want to move Teach-Okay
beyond the crucial skill of paraphrasing and into Oral Writing and Critical
Thinking. When you see kids using the Brainies, then praise them ... you see
them continuing ... you can give them a star on the Super Improvers Team Wall.
The Brainies are easy to implement and "powerful"! So, after you do individual
Brainies, then you can have them work on two or more! Another extension is to


tell your students, "You pick the ones you and your partner want to work on ...
and let me see if I can guess which ones you picked."
For more information on how to use the Brainies in your instruction, see Webcast # 579 and #589 Download the free e-book, The
Brainies, at, The Brainy Game. I encourage you to also
check out Chris Biffles newest book, 122 Amazing Games!
This includes the game, The Brainy Minute! , which is a fun way to get your students
started on using the Triple Whammy!
Here are some WBT videos demonstrating the use of Brainies in the classroom. (see minute 33:30)

Universal Homework ModelWBT Style!

School has started! Your classroom looks great, your students are eager to do their
best, and the plan book is humming! If your district is like mine, you have also been
gearing up to address the Homework Policy!
WBT offers an amazing Universal Homework Model that can
be used as is, or modified to meet your local district requirements. This model is based
on a team effort by the class to complete daily assignments using three levels of


Each level is worth a set amount of Team Stars. These stars accumulate each day to
earn minutes of a learning game called Mind Soccer!


In my class, when students arrive each morning, they place their daily homework on
their desks for me to check in. As I collect, I count out loud the total number of stars as
I move between desks. When I come to a student who has completed Two or Three
Star homework, I will call out, Please give ____ a Ten finger Wooo for bringing in Extra
Stars for our class today! Students quickly shout out Woooo! wriggling all ten fingers
in the direction of that student! I know you can picture the look on that students face as
he reaches out to grab that Woooo! (You may be thinking right now; what about the
student who didnt return any homework that day? As I move between desks, if I come
upon a student with no homework, I keep moving on while making a mental notation to
speak to that student privately later. I DO NOT draw attention to that student!
Depending on the reason for no homework that day, he may have a one minute
rehearsal at recess of Rule 4, Make smart choices! Glorious Kindness, Leadership,
Courage, Invincible Grit, Creativity
When I have collected all the homework, I note the total stars for the day on a special
line graph on the front board. Starting on the second day of collection, I write an
addition computation on the board of the previous star total plus the new star total.
Students are asked to do mental math and solve the problem. They must blow their
answer into their hand and hold it up. When all the cupped hands are raised, we solve
the problem out loud so they can check their answer. There are always lots of cheers,
and no one is on the spot for making a mistake! Everyone participates! The graph is
marked with goal lines for earning the extra minutes for Mind Soccer I mentioned
earlier. The blue numbers indicate the extra minute goals. I use a different color to plug
in the daily totals as we go through the week. The graph starts clean every Monday.


I have 30 students in my class, so the first opportunity to earn a minute would be at the
60 star mark. At the end of each school quarter, I raise the number of stars needed to
earn the minutes.
You really want to get Team Spirit hyped up, so here is the recommendation from
Coach B:

This really works! I am always happily surprised to find students not only eager to
volunteer, but also follow through on their commitments the next morning! You may find

as I have, that some of those eagerly volunteering are the ones struggling in class,
and/or have not always been consistent in returning daily homework! Amazing!
Earlier I mentioned how you can adapt this model to fit your requirements. For my
district, that is exactly what I had to do. Here is the outline that is attached to my 2nd
grade teams weekly homework packet. It contains the star outline, and the directions
for the Super Speed Read and Math folders that are checked each Friday for progress.


When you present the homework plan to your parents, its very important for them to
understand that extra homework turned in for stars does not count as Extra Credit!
Many are shocked when their child comes home excited to do more school work just to
earn more minutes to play a learning game! No Treasure Box!

My final comment is that this is the best Homework Plan I have ever used in terms of
student participation, parent support, and overall results in academic learning! Last
year, my students were voluntarily turning in illustrated book reports, Triple Whammy
essays and yes, original poetry! All for a star for their TEAM!! (Watch Webcasts for
Universal Homework and Mind soccer)
Download Free EBooks for SuperSpeed Read and SuperSpeed Math at

The 5 Step Lesson Template

When you begin organizing your lessons, you are going to use the 5 Step Lesson
Template. It is designed to help you quickly insert your WBT strategies to ensure the
Whole Brain is activated! The following is an example of a simple lesson for the
beginning of the school year. Where would you insert Mirror Words in this lesson?

What other WBT strategies would you use? Why is the Critical Thinking section the
most important in terms of student learning?


Check for more information here: and the webcast: Read about the newest one
minute lesson plan here:

Video: 5 Step Lesson

WBT Writing: 2nd Grade Pacing Plan and Super Improver Writing
Teaching children how to write is challenging, but writing orally and in print daily makes
all the difference! When I first introduced the WBT Writing methods, I found it made a
huge change in my style of teaching and in the results of all my students, which
included RSP and EL (English Learners)! Writing involves so many skills, and a feeling
of too little time to teach them all! Teachers complain at all grade levels that kids dont
know how to write! But as you all know, complaining and blaming do not resolve the
problems of helping students become great writers!

Thanks to Coach B, we have:


Brand New!! Big Change!!

Coach B introduced Super Improver Writing at a whole new level this Spring 2016!
The format of writing took a bigger focus towards improving one skill at a time and
allowing a bigger role by students in the choices they make in self-improvement writing
skills! ***Download:

My Writing Schedule for a 2nd Grade Classroom (Note: This plan can
easily be adjusted for other grade levels):
Aug-Sep Students start the year with daily Genius Ladder sentence building on the
first 2 rungs. Many of my students need to learn specifically what a noun and a verb
are, and of course, what a sentence is. We hone in on the Power Pix for these 3
concepts right away, and revisit them often in the daily morning Power Pix Wall
practice. (
It is very important to be introducing the Brainies along with this.

Start with the Capital Letter, Period, Because, And, and Comma. Remember, one skill
at a time! I post each Brainy at the front of the board when I teach it, and each student
has their individual Brainies Desk Card .
As they become more proficient with the Oral Writing of the sentence, we move into the
Extender Rung. When we get to the Extender, the Super Speed Grammar practice is

a great support to understanding how to build more detailed sentences. Also, because
they are 2nd graders, I start the practice of having them write the Genius Sentence in a
Journal they keep in their desk.
Sep-Oct I find as I move up, I am continually reviewing the basics of the Blah/Spicy.
This allows me to set up a frame on the board for independent seat work. This is great
for learners at all levels. It is also a great way for me to assess individual progress.
They are required to read their sentences back to themselves using gestures, including
Brainy gestures, as they edit/add on to the sentence(s) they have created. (Red Green
Proofreading is part of this also). Their main focus will be the writing improvement
choice they made for this assignment.
I move into the Triple Whammy frame, and do a lot of Oral Writing practice. We start
very simple, as shown in The Super Improver Writing download. Again, the Brainies
are big here. Just like the original Genius Ladder, the beginning Triple Whammy frame
is rather blah/simple. These become more elaborate with practice. (Coach's
Webcasts, Facebook dated 5/16/16 and Webcast #589, on this subject are required


They work with a partner and create several Triple Whammy sentences based on a list
of topics, while incorporating an appropriate sentence cue frame posted on the front
board of the classroom.(See Student Writing Reference Manual These Triple Whammies become their first real Topic

Sentences! Note this image from the Super Improver Writing download:

Oct-Dec With the experience of creating lots of Triple Whammy topic sentences, it is
an easy transition to move to the Micro-essay. I use a color coded cue system on the
board to help students get a format going. I leave this up on my board. I find my higher
learners grasp the pattern fairly quickly and don't need the visual as much as the slower
learners. Look at the Download: and Webcast
#589 again. Here is how I set mine up. I indent my model on the
board, and we use the Brainy, "New Paragraph" and gesture, when we start to read
the paragraph. To help students avoid "getting stuck" with the problem of creating
different sentence starters each time, I initially start with the ordinal transition words.
Later, I will move them into choosing their own sentence starters.
______________________ ______________, ______________, and
_________________. First, __________________because_______________


_______. Second, _________________________ because _______________

__________________________. Finally, ________________________________
because ___________________________. In conclusion, __________ ___________,
_____________, and ______________________.
We use this pattern every day, initially as Oral Writing, and then as print together, and
finally as independent seat work. Based on your students' progress, you will decide
when to move to the next level. Here is an image from the Super Improver Writing
download to show student choices for improvement:

The next step is to put an Adder/Extender sentence with each of the color coded
sentences. By now, they have had lots of experience with the Brainies. Now the cue
system looked like this on the board (Note: each Adder is expected to be different within
the paragraph):
______________________ ______________, ______________, and
_________________. First, __________________because_______________
_______. Adder Second, _________________________ because _______________
__________________________. Adder Finally,


because ___________________________. Adder In conclusion, __________

_____________, and ______________________.
Here is an image from the Super Improver Writing download to show student choices
for improvement:

Dec-June Now we move to the 5 paragraph essay! The cue system has changed to
______________________ ______________, ______________, and
First, __________________because_______________
_______. Adder
Second, _________________________ because _______________


__________________________. Adder
Finally, ________________________________
because ___________________________. Adder
In conclusion, __________ ___________,
_____________, and ______________________.
When I first go to the multi-paragraph format, my students learn that each time the color
changes, they have to "Drop and Shove! New Paragraph!" They literally drop their body
down a little and shove their hand across their body to emphasize the format change of
the essay. They love the FUN of this!
We stick with this for a couple of weeks and then it changes. They are now expected to
write a total of 3 sentences in each paragraph...2 Adders. Each Adder has to be
different. They have a Brainy cue card on their desks to help them with variety.
______________________ ______________, ______________, and
First, __________________because_______________
_______. Adder Adder
Second, _________________________ because _______________
__________________________. Adder Adder
Finally, ________________________________
because ___________________________. Adder Adder
In conclusion, __________ ___________,
_____________, and ______________________.

Here is an image from the Super Improver Writing download to show student choices
for improvement:

In my classroom, each student will refer to the Topic List in their Student Writing
Reference Manual. The sentence cue frame will be posted on the front board for
viewing. I will read the frame, say Mirror Words, and students will gesture and echo with
me. I then have them turn to their partners in a Teach Okay set, and using the posted
frame, take turns filling in the blanks. They use High 5 Switch to give both partners a
chance to orally participate in this discussion. (By doing this, students have a chance to
get ideas to help get their writing started...especially important for slower learners!) I
call them back with Class!
They then proceed with the 5 paragraph essay format shown above. They are
reminded that if they finish, they are to reread with gestures (Brainies included) and edit
as needed. 100% engagement!
What is really great about this basic format is that you can adapt it to any writing
assignment! Students become very fluid in their writing, and you can easily move into
more complex sentences. Electronic SuperSpeed Grammar is used at least twice a
week (more often at the beginning of the year). You will find in the Super Improver

Writing download, a complete series of games for helping your students in persuasive,
expository, and narrative writing. Coach has also included information on writing book
reports! Here are the directions he recommends for daily instruction of writing skills.

1. Your class should practice writing skills 30 minutes per day, ideally in two 15
minute blocks. ***(In 2nd, we start with 5 minute blocks twice a day and work up
our writing stamina to 30 minutes as the year progresses.)
2. Students should use oral writing (Brainy) gestures often during collaborative
3. As soon as possible, students should proofread their own paper, marking a weak
writing feature with a red dot and a strong writing feature with a green dot. You
select the writing feature that should be marked.
4. Practice one writing skill at a time with many, many repetitions.
5. Reward all improvements with Star Lines on the Super Improvers Team.
Celebrate Improvements!
6. Modify the program as needed.
7. Emphasize this: Super Improver Writing is a game with levels JUST LIKE A

This is a quick guide to getting your WBT year started. For more detailed information
and instruction, subscribe to the NEW WBT Website:
Read Chris Biffles books, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids and 122 Amazing Games!


When starting WBT, dont become overwhelmed by trying to introduce too many
strategies and methods at once. Start with the Core 4Class Yes, Mirror Words,
Hands and Eyes, and Teach-Okay. Then, add in the Scoreboard, the 5 Rules, and
Switch! While you will see instant results when you start with Class, Yes! the very first
time, take it slow and steady when introducing Whole Brain Teaching to your students
to ensure long term results in classroom management, student engagement, and very
importantly, critical thinking and reasoning! Oh, yeah! For a Video overview of setting
up your classroom and introducing WBT to your students, please watch:

Quick Summary
WBT Classroom Elements and Arrangement
First Minute
First Hour
First Day
First Week
Rest of the Year


Special Acknowledgements
Huge thank you to Chris Biffle, the one and only Coach B, who inspires me and
educators everywhere to improve ourselves daily in and out of the classroom!
Special praises to Chris Rekstad, Andrea Schindler, Deb Weigel, Jeff
Battle, Lindsey Roush, Kate Bowski, Sarah Meador, Jasselle Cirino, Andre Deshotel,
and all the amazing WBT Staff I have the privilege of working with and learning from!
Whole Brain Teachers of America is not only the fastest growing group of professional
educators from around the world, they are also among the most inspirational and
generous individuals you may meet! They make a difference in childrens lives every
day! Mighty oh, yeah!!
Special love and hugs to my beautiful grandchildrenJenna, Evan, Luke, and
Mark! This book is dedicated to you and the joyful differences you make in my life and
all those blessed to meet you!

*** Please feel free to contact me with comments and questions!
Twitter: @NancyStoltenber
Periscope: @NancyStoltenber


WBT Resources from Whole Brain Teachers

of America

WBT Books:
Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle
122 Amazing Games! by Chris Biffle

Online, teacher training program WBT FREEBIES:


Whole Brain Teachers Book Club :

WBT Certification:

Chris Biffle

Face Book Pages:

Whole Brain Teaching:
1st Gr:
2nd Gr:
3rd Gr:
4th Gr:
5th Gr:
Special Education
Middle School:
High School:
Music Education: