Teachers Trump! A 6 Trumps Workshop Contributed by Beverly Woolery

In my book, “Using Brain Science to Make Training Stick,” I gave my friend and professional colleague, Beverly Woolery, credit for helping to create “The 6 Trumps Workshop” that is a value-added part of the book. Beverly took the workshop to a more advanced level and created her own longer variation of it. Then she generously sent it my way – for you!

BeverlyFirst, bit of background: Beverly Woolery is the Director of the Educator Preparation Institute at Polk State College in Winter Haven, Florida. Together with Rebecca Pugh, Professor of Education at the same college, Beverly helped me write the workshop script (pages 266-271) and then field-tested the workshop during several professional development programs for her college and other educational institutions.

After creating a 1-day variation of the 45-minute workshop, and adding thematic elements (what could be more fun than playing cards and “trumping” the other players?), Beverly took her workshop, “6 Trumps: Brain Science to Make Teaching Stick,” on the road.  Last August she presented the workshop to a group of 60 educators from Lighthouse Christian School in Jacksonville, Florida.

6TrumpsWheel (1)6TrumpsWheelThose of you familiar with my book know that the six trumps are six learning principles based on brain science: 1) Movement trumps sitting; 2) Talking trumps listening; 3) Images trump words; 4) Writing trumps reading; 5) Shorter trumps longer; 6) Different trumps same. In Beverly’s workshop, she demonstrated how to use a “Trump Wheel” to provide a new twist on traditional instruction. Each table group spun its Trump Wheel and, using chart paper, markers, drawn images, and words, they depicted various changes they would make to their teaching methodologies to include the 6 trumps. The table groups hung their “posters” on walls around the room for the other groups to view.

Towards the end of the workshop, Beverly handed out a “6 Trumps Self-Assessment Wheel” that educators could use during the school year. Whenever a teacher used one of the learning principles, he/she placed a checkmark in that “trump” section of the wheel. The goal for each teacher was to have at least one checkmark for each of the six sections every day (a total of 30 checkmarks for each school week). Teachers with 30 or more checkmarks each week called themselves “Trumpeters” – the highest rank awarded to those aspiring to heighten student engagement!

Fast forward to today: The Academic Dean of Lighthouse Christian School, Cindy Norton, now requires teachers to use Beverly’s “6 Trumps Self-Assessment Wheel” during the first two weeks of school while they create lesson plans that help them connect with students and increase participation in the classroom.

The PDF files below are the ones that Beverly created and that she sent to me to post as free, useful resources for you. If you have questions about these files, Beverly’s workshop, or you just wish to thank her (which is always nice!) for her generous contribution to this blog, please contact her at: bwoolery@polk.edu.

6 Trumps Self-Assessment Wheel

6 Trumps Worksheet

6 Trumps Agenda

NOTE: “The 6 Trumps” – “six learning principles that trump traditional teaching” – is a trademark of “Using Brain Science to Make Training Stick” and is a major piece of the global 2-day “Training from the BACK of the Room!” workshop, which I will be facilitating in Orlando (April 2016) and in London (May 2016). Click on my WHAT’S NEW? or TRAINING EVENTS pages to access the workshop information and registration links.


  • My best learning experiences where I remember the most of what I learn is if I can use 3 different approaches of writing, listening, seeing with pictures and graphs and then demonstrations with team interactions or people. Association where facts are represented by memory words, or pictures.

    • I agree, Patricia, that using different modalities really helps us to remember content. And images and demonstrations definitely do the same – Cheers to you! Sharon

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