We Typically Don’t Teach to the Yellow

I will occasionally have teachers ask me, “I have such a preference in green.  How do I meet the needs of students who have a preference in Yellow thinking?” Students who have a preference is Conceptual like to think outside the box and are extremely energized by being given time to brainstorm unique ways to solve problems. They also like the “big picture” and learning through experimentation. In fact, these students do not prefer a formal classroom setting.

I am particularly excited about SVVSD’s emphasis on Design Thinking because students are given the opportunity to delve into their yellow thinking, especially in the Ideate phase.  In addition, PBL (Problem Based Learning) is another way to get Conceptual thinkers fired up! Here are some additional tips for teaching to students who have a Conceptual Preference:

  • Present a variety of options when thinking about the content, process and product of your unit.
  • Be sure to give the “big picture” or overview of the lesson.
  • Occasionally summarize throughout and at the end of the lesson. Sometimes we get caught up in the details, and the Yellow Attribute is not listening.
  • Provide lots of change to prevent this brain from getting bored.
  • Supply written directions.
  • Use as much color, metaphors and pictures as possible.
  • Ask open-ended questions

What are some other ideas you have for meeting the needs of the Conceptual brain?



What Would Your Staff Identify As Your Strengths?

It can be helpful to reflect on your profile and how it has made itself apparent in your school or your workplace.

  • The Analytical Attribute excels at rational thinking and focusing on what needs to get done, relying heavily on facts.  It also will give short directives and will delegate certain details.
  • The Structural Attribute prefers tradition and clear rules.  This attribute excels at bringing order out of chaos and likes to take care of the logistics.
  • The Social Attribute cares about the well-being of others, encourages collaboration and is empathic.
  • The Conceptual Attribute excels at innovation, sees the big picture, looks into the future and is open to “out-of-the-box” ideas.
  • A person in the first-third of Expressiveness is calm, poised and allows others to talk.  A person in the third-third of expressiveness walks the halls, is loud and enjoys conversing with others.
  • A person in the first third of Assertiveness likes to keep the peace and goes with the flow of the group. A person in the third third of Assertiveness is determined and decisive.
  • A person in the first third of Flexibility is focused and has firm beliefs and prefers that others do things his/her way. A person in the third third of Flexibility doesn’t mind change and is open to the suggestions of others.

Whether we are teachers or administrators, it is critical that we take the time to reflect on our strengths and how we might use our preferences to drive the work we do with our colleagues and students.

Source:  Work That Works by Geil Browning.  John Wiley and Sons , 2018.