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BrainWise

The BrainWise curriculum, by Patricia Gorman Barry, Ph.D., is a comprehensive instructional program which teaches critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills to help students make good decisions. BrainWise is currently being taught at Parmalee to all grade levels and at Bergen Meadow to all K-1 classrooms. BrainWise uses fun activities and child-friendly language to teach the parts of the brain, brain function, and the following "10 Wise Ways."

Wise Way #1: Wizard Brain over Lizard Brain
The Wizard Brain is the part of your brain that helps you learn, think, and make decisions. This is where good choices are made. The Lizard Brain is where your emotions live and reactions happen. 

Wise Way #2: Build a Constellation of Support
Students learn to identify people in their Constellation of Support who can help them solve their problems. They learn to recognize different sources and types of support and to distinguish between helpful and unhelpful supports. 

Wise Way #3: Recognize Red Flag Warnings
Students learn how to stop and think by recognizing both internal and external signals ("red flags") that warn us of problems. 


Wise Way #4: Exit the Emotions Elevator
Students learn how to use an emotions elevator to rate the intensity of their emotions. Recognizing "red flag warnings" help us to decide where we are on the emotions elevator and signal us that is it time to use the "stop and think" strategies for self-calming.  

Wise Way #5: Separate Fact from Opinion
Students learn the difference between facts and opinions. This is important because it helps us gather necessary information in order to make good choices and understand that we do not always need to agree on how we feel about something.

Wise Way #6: Ask Questions
Students learn to recognize the necessity to gather information to solve a problem. They learn to identify the kinds of information needed in order to form questions that help gather the most useful and accurate information. 

Wise Way #7: Identify you Choices
Students learn to identify multiple choices in order to solve problems. They learn to recognize the need to be in control of their emotions and be lower on the "emotions elevator" in order to best consider their choices. 

Wise Way #8: Consider Consequences
Students learn to assess their choices by considering the potential consequence of "choices now" and the consequences of the "choice later." 

Wise Way #9: Set Goals/Form Action Plan
Students learn about the importance of setting goals and forming a plan of action to reach goals.

Wise Way #10: Communicate Effectively Students learn effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills. They learn to recognize the impact of negative and positive nonverbal communication on problem solving. 


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