This anchor chart is what I used in a few grade one rooms to explain how we use our brains when we are classifying and sorting words in our word study. I start with an empty chart paper. I have the colour pictures and markers ready on the side.

I start by saying :” today we are going to talk about our brains”  I write the title and add the picture with the brain. We talk about how big their brain is and where it fits in their head.We talk about how nobody has an empty head and we are all learing at the same time even if we aren’t learning the same thing. Just like we have different eyes and hair and height we also have different brains.

I talk about how our brains like puzzles and patterns. We need to make our brain work hard so that it can grow. Next, I say that in order for our brain to grow we study those puzzles and patterns in every part of our lives and that is exercise for the brain.

We talk about neurons and dendrites at a very low-level and then I tell them that we have to keep thinking and making our brain work hard so that we can get smarter and smarter every time we work. They get really excited when I tell them they can leave smarter today, than when they came in this morning. Nobody says no when I ask “Do you want to get smarter?”

I review this anchor chart on a regular basis so that the children always know why they are doing what they are doing. I think if they know  what their job is and why it is important they are much more likely to be successful in the task at hand. I know there are much more technical ways to explain this but it is grade one and we are just opening a door for them to understand that they are in charge of their learning.