Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Whole Brain Teaching - The Scoreboard

The Scoreboard is THE classroom management tool piece of Whole Brain Teaching. Teachers who implement the Whole Brain Teaching method use tally marks for when the class is good and tally marks for when the class is not so good.  They are explicit about the good and not so good behavior and they have kids working for the teeniest little reward - and the kids love it!

Last year I just used a little whiteboard that I drew a line down each day with smileys on one side and frownies on the other.  But... this year I decided to go fancy dancy with this adorable Scoreboard made by Nicole from Teaching With Style.

 You can download this freebie from Teaching With Style. Not only does it have the Scoreboard above, but it also has a variety of other styles and some teaching notes to help you out if this is your first time using Whole Brain Teaching.

Using the scoreboard is a whole class behavior system.  The class works together to earn the reward.  If I spot a kiddo displaying negative behavior, I don't call them out specifically, I just add a tally mark under the frownie side and say, "Someone was blurting out, frownie." or "Waiting for someone to sit at the carpet, frownie."  Whenever I give a frownie, I try really hard to find someone modeling the correct behavior.  "I love the way (Child's name) is sitting on the carpet, Smilie.  If you are not sitting that way, please fix yourself so you can earn more Smilies for the class."

One trick of the trade is to use the Scoreboard A LOT!  Way more than you think you need to.  I always keep in mind that just like math and reading, students need to be taught the type of behavior that is expected of them.  The more you remind them, the more they learn.

Here is my scoreboard for just half the day:

What do the students get if they win? In my class they earn 5 minutes extra recess or free time (You Tube videos are a huge hit in our classroom - even the educational ones!). If they lose, we spend 5 minutes practicing correct behavior or procedures.

Prizes should be small and easy to implement - if you can get away with it let the prize be bragging rights!  My kiddos are a tougher crowd, but it worked last year for the first few weeks.

My other tip - USE THE SCOREBOARD!  Sorry to yell, but it is that important.  I have noticed my students' behavior goes downhill when I don't use it as often, and is AMAZING when I  am consistent with it.

You can watch Chris Bifle's video about The Scoreboard here:

Do you use the Scoreboard in your classroom?  Do you have any tips or suggestions?


  1. Thanks for the link to the Scoreboard freebies -I just started WBT today.

  2. I'm new to WBT and I need to be more consistent with the scoreboard! I'm getting there. Thanks for the tips.


    Teaching Little Miracles

  3. Love WBT! It has saved me many of times.

  4. I think this is awful. Teacher vs the students for a reward or punishment? What about achieving and succeeding as a group? What about the teacher being on the same side as the students and working with them to find success? This is called reciprocity and should be central to ANY classroom. Nurturing teacher-student relationships built on trust, understanding and caring fosters student cooperation and motivation to promote their learning. Why not bank up positive interactions so that students have less need to behave inappropriately? Why is the sad face so full- they only just 'beat' you to achieve their reward. Further, what about the bad days, when the teacher is inconsistent with the giving of happy face or sad face marks? Or when that one student is getting on your nerves, and therefore the whole class suffers on behalf of that isolated negative interaction? How are you building a safe and secure environment for learning when students are going to get angry or disappointed at those few who behave 'incorrectly' and therefore get sad face marks added. This is supposed to motivate them yes? Well- what about the ones who need a little more motivation. How is this appropriate for the individual level of developmental expectations? It is proven that students who struggle to regulate themselves need to experience consistent praise in order to redirect behaviours. This is the opposite. I am sincerely shocked that this is a 'movement'. I'm glad the WBT isn't a business, as they said on their website. I sure wouldn't buy anything they're selling.


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