Involve Stakeholders. Involve everyone who has consistent contact with participants –providers, support staff, ancillary staff, volunteers, family. They should be familiar with BrainWise concepts, terms, and teaching aids (cards, posters, markers, worksheets.) Use Brain Bucks, Brain Bumps and the BrainWise hand brain as rewards and visual reminders to stop and think. Involvement of stakeholders ensures multiple avenues to REINFORCE the concepts.
Create Environment that Supports Success. Provide participants with multiple support resources who know the 10 Wise Ways. Identify key people of influence who support engagement, manage resistance/negativity and reward positive behaviors. Set up everything for success: rules, routines, visuals, motivation systems with privileges, rewards, recognitions.
Offer opportunities for participants to be involved, demonstrate their skills, build constellations of support, feel respected, and give back. Use hands-on activities, celebrate success, have fun, integrate Wise Ways into games and movies, create a routine, include food. Everything REINFORCES the 10 Wise Ways.
Use BrainWise Teaching Materials. Everything you need to teach critical thinking skills is in the curriculum, worksheets, the How To Be BrainWise companion book, and teaching aids (10 Wise Ways posters and cards, BrainWise markers, BrainWise CPR Problem Solving Worksheet, Brain Bucks, Brain Bumps, BrainWise Hand Brain.)
The materials can be customized for age, culture, developmental ability, race, sex, and problems. Display the participants’ hand-made brains, Emotions Elevators, 10 Wise Ways posters, hand-made BrainWise card set, copies of the brain, brain worksheet.
The BrainWise curriculum and teaching aids are available at www.brainwise-plc.org
. Free monthly newsletters, including copies of past issues are available by sending a request to email@example.com
. These help you REINFORCE the concepts.
Address Resistance. Participants have many reasons for acting out and resisting learning new material. Master BrainWise instructors offer these techniques:
- Plan ahead! Anticipate that there will be resistance and decide your response based on the situation.
- Build on what is already in place –, rules, boundaries, rewards,
- Use key participants as advocates if appropriate
- Don’t change routines or stop what you are presenting – keep going!. If needed, resolve the issue after the session.
- Be creative – initial resistance or “this is boring” always improves!
Engage Participants. Here are suggestions to help engage participants:
Build relationships with group members. For open groups, proactively plan with group members to use their BrainWise skills to welcome a new member. Pair up a new member with a more experienced member. Start each group with participants sharing an example of a Wise Way that they or someone else used.
Make sessions fun by creating games and activities such as awarding Brain Bucks to individuals who recognize Wise Ways used during the group or limit it to behaviors that use one or two higher level Wise Ways such as “I” messages, POV, positive body language, consequences, or goal.
Highlight positive behaviors by asking participant to identify what part of the Brain they were using. Do the same by asking them to identify Wizard Brain behaviors of others, including celebrities or characters in movies and animations. Complete worksheets together and share results.
Make participant feel comfortable getting involved by giving them question(s) they can successfully answer. Use scripted activities or the same content in new ways or with different examples that will help participants respond successfully.
Give rewards such as BRAIN BUCKS for involvement. Again, these activities REINFORCE the concepts.