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The brain uses two separate processes to piece together language; Encoding and Retrieval.  Encoding starts with letter recognition such as shape and sound which is then used to develop word recognition and ultimately ending in meaning and understanding.  This can also include encoding verbal, non-verbal and body language from others.  Retrieval on the other hand, also termed ‘Expressive language’, is the brain’s ability to express thoughts into words, name things, and execute word finding.

Enhancing Language

Increasing the time spent with words and exposure to a variety of words develops associations and connections within the brain. Individual attention with each process is needed in order to improve one’s language skills.

To improve encoding one should read, learn new words, learn a new language, use mind maps to attach details to a main idea, and play word search puzzles to mention a few.

To improve retrieval skills one should retell a story, name pictures, play crossword puzzles, play categories or any other activity that requires the individual to retrieve previously stored information using associations or free recall.  An example of retrieval using associations would be asking an individual to name or classify a picture seen on a flash card.  For free recall, remove any visual, auditory or kinesthetic clue to help them retrieve the right information.  An example being the verbal fluency activity which asks the individual to name as many items from a particular category.

Try these language puzzles during your workout today.

1.) Encoding Word List

2.) Retrieval: Every minute on the minute, name as many items from each category as possible. 1 point per word, discount repeats and plurals.

1st minute: Farm Animals

2nd minute: Zoo Animals

3rd minute: School Supplies

4th minute: Gym Equipment

5th minute: Food

*Mix in a round of your favorite movement during one or more of the minutes for maximum brain benefits!

Today’s BrainWOD: 101514

By | Memory, Reading, wod | No Comments



Log roll back to start

25 reps.


Translating between languages:

Find the German words for:
















V K I C Z B E R S O T W G X N O F F H J 
N V E I H N F W C Z W K C H E T L S A G 
K P Q Q M O B H H Q C E U L G N C H U I 
M I O O R S F L U I H H U V E H U X S C 
Z S M W I Z C D L R S R W L N N W V N H 
F T I J O C J H E J O H I E D W A F U D 
R A H H E D H D W M Z Y E L C A H K O A 
M K U T Z C G L M E A A O S E W P Z L Y 
Y M K P X V Q B E D I N K A U H K N E G 
O B K E D H D C E X N N N C R G O S N M 
D H S D Q Y T J W I H I V U D N N T N N 
N X A M M O U M D D L C K J C V R V O R 
U E D V S N J A N D S W U I M O Y N S D 
D V G H F R A U Z N O G R E B I J G A Z 
H Y Q E J V R Z D G L E Z T A K S Y X K 
G F Y E R S Y N F J B H W Y V T K O M N 
H R F E S I N U Q R L M P U H L G Q V Y 
T I F T V S M W R A N H G Z Q F B B Z K 
U A A M I T T A G E S S E N Y M N E X U 

Today’s BrainWOD: “Ninja Walk”

By | Enrichment, Games, Groups, Ignite! At Home, Ignite! At School, Ignite! In The Workplace, Language, Reading, wod, Writing | No Comments


Intention: Skip counting and addition

Warmup: Ladder pattern

5 right-side jumping jacks

5 left-side jumping jacks

alternating lateral jumping over hurdles

Pre-Activity: number placement with a cone and ladder

Focus Drill: Figure 8s, Ninja Walk (pictured)

Lesson: jump two numbers, walk back to front, count

Anchoring activity: Addition plus obstacle course



Today’s BrainWOD: “Brain Gone Bad”

By | Enrichment, Enrichment for Adults, Ignite! At Home, Ignite! At School, Interventions, Math, Memory, Reading, Weekly Challenges, wod | No Comments


Warmup: 20 reps for time of:


Then, “Brain Gone Bad”:

Spend exactly one minute at each station before moving to the next.

Rest exactly one minute between rounds.

Perform 3 rounds for maximum points.

Station 1: Memory Cards (one minute to memorize)

Station 2: Addition Worksheet

Station 3: Subtraction Worksheet

Station 4: Word Search Worksheet

Station 5: Memory Cards – one minute to recall cards (any order.)

Worksheets can be drawn from anywhere. This is one good resource.

The Ignite NeuroMotive Coach Certification in El Paso on Saturday is almost full! You can register for both the live course and the Online course by clicking here.

Ignite BrainWODs are comprised of 7 phases (the Ignite 7 Steps.) The above can be used on its own for a fun challenge, or incorporated into the 7 Steps for optimal benefit.

The Ignite 7 Steps are outlined in Enrichment Through Exercise, and taught in our NeuroMotive Coach Certifications. 

Today’s BrainWOD: “TriBond”

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50 Skips (or scissor jumps)

50 situps

Tri-Bond word challenge

40 Skips

40 Situps

Tri-Bond Word Challenge

30 Skips

30 Situps

Tri-Bond Word Challenge

20 Skips

20 Situps

Tri-Bond Word Challenge

10 Skips

10 Situps

Tri-Bond Word Challenge

…for time.

Tri-Bond Word Challenges are data-connection and recognition tasks. Given three words, can the student find a common theme or word that goes with all three?

For example,

Mail – Shoe – Lunch could all share the suffix  word ‘box.’

Oilers – Jets – Rangers all share a theme (NHL teams.)

Download a PDF of sample Tribonds here.


Today’s BrainWOD: “Cliche Killer”

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PreActivity: Explain ‘cliche’ and complete these cliches as fast as possible:

rear its ugly _____
I have a sneaking ______
the bottom ________
in one fell _____
last but not _____
life takes its _____
few and far _______
crystal _____, clear as a ____
for all intents and ________
take the bull by _____ ________
the thrill of ______, the agony of ________
swept it ______ _____ _______
packed in as tight as _________
that captain runs a tight ______
believe it or ____
breathe a sigh of ______
better late ____ _____
like a bolt from the ______
that was the ____ that broke the ______ ‘s ____
perish the _______
as alike as two ______ in a ______
beyond the shadow of a __________
leave no stone __________
Don’t have a _______, ______!


Activity: Take the cliches below and create a new original phrase to express the same idea:

rear its ugly head, sadder but wiser,  I have a sneaking suspicion, the bottom line, in one fell swoop,

last but not least, life takes its toll, few and far between, crystal clear, clear as a bell, for all intents and purposes, take the bull by the horns, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, he swept the problem under the rug, packed in as tight as sardines, that captain runs a tight ship, you mad, bro?, believe it or not, breathe a sigh of relief, better late than never, like a bolt from the blue, that was the last straw, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, I’m fed up with you!, perish the thought!, as alike as two peas in a pod, beyond the shadow of a doubt, leave no stone unturned, Don’t have a cow, man! actions speak louder than words

Ignite BrainWODs are comprised of 7 phases (the Ignite 7 Steps.) Warmups, focus drills, pre-CrossFit Kids workouts and anchoring activities precede and follow this challenge for optimal benefit.

The Ignite 7 Steps are outlined in Enrichment Through Exercise, and taught in our NeuroMotive Coach Certifications. 

Today’s BrainWOD: “Spreeder”

By | Enrichment, Enrichment for Adults, Ignite! At Home, Ignite! At School, Reading, Testing, wod | No Comments


Medicine Ball Suicide Run:

Use 4#, 8#, and 12# medicine balls. (You can use weights or other objects if you want.)

Mark a starting line, and place each of the balls 15 yards apart in a straight line, leading away from the starting line. Place the 4# ball closest and the 12# ball furthest.

The student sprints to the first ball, and carries it to the start line; then sprints to the second, etc.

Ages 3-6: 2 rounds, 1 minute apart

6-9: 4 rounds, :30 apart each

10+: 6 rounds, no rest.

Cut and paste the following text into Spreeder to test your reading speed:

Ages 3-6:

A woodpecker is a kind of bird. Woodpeckers are found all over the world except in the North and South poles, Australia, and New Zealand. There are over 200 different kinds of woodpeckers. The two largest woodpeckers, the Imperial Woodpecker and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker are most likely extinct. Animals that are extinct are no longer found on Earth.

Woodpeckers have sharp bills for drilling into wood, and short, stiff tails which help prop them up against tree trunks and branches. Woodpeckers also have very long tongues, which help them get at insects deep within trees. Woodpeckers are often heard drumming loudly on trees before they are seen. Woodpeckers can even become pests if they learn to drum on siding of a house.

Woodpeckers can easily be attracted to backyard bird feeders with sunflower seeds or suet. Suet is a kind of animal fat that is very tasty to woodpeckers and other birds.

Ages 6-9:

The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest. It covers an area of nearly 2.8 million square miles, which is nearly the size of the continent of Australia. The Amazon Rainforest gets its life from the majestic Amazon River, the world’s second largest river, which runs directly through the heart of the region. The rainforest itself is simply the drainage basin for the river and its many tributaries. The vast forest itself consists of four layers, each featuring its own ecosystems and specially adapted plants and animals.

The forest floor is the lowest region. Since only two percent of the sunlight filters through the top layers to the understory, very few plants grow here. The forest floor, however, is rich with rotting vegetation and the bodies of dead organisms, which are quickly broken down into nutrients integrated into the soil. Tree roots stay close to these available nutrients and decomposers such as millipedes and earthworms use these nutrients for food.

The understory is the layer above the forest floor. Much like the forest floor, only about 2- 5 percent of the sunlight reaches this shadowy realm. Many of the plants in the understory have large, broad leaves to collect as much sunlight as possible. The understory is so thick that there is very little air movement. As a result, plants rely on insects and animals to pollinate their flowers.

The layer above the understory is the canopy. This is where much of the action in the rainforest occurs. Many canopy leaves have specially adapted leaves which form “drip tips”. Drip tips allow water to flow off the leaves which prevents mosses, fungi, and lichens from occupying the leaves. Leaves in the canopy are very dense and filter about 80 percent of the sunlight. The canopy is where the wealth of the rainforest’s fruits and flowers grow. Bromeliads, cup-like plants, provide drinking pools for animals and breeding locations for tree frogs.

The emergent layer is above the canopy, and is the top layer of the rainforest. Trees in the emergent layer break through the canopy and may reach heights of 200 feet. Leaves in the emergent layer are small and covered with a special wax to hold water. Seeds are blown to other parts of the forest. Trees which rise to the emergent layer are massive. Many are braced by huge buttress roots. Trunks can be 16 feet in circumference. Many animals that survive in the emergent layer never touch the ground.

Ages 10+:

The Seattle Seahawks are based in Seattle, Washington and play in the National Football Conference (NFC) Western Division. Their history begins in 1972 but they were established in 1976. It was that season they joined the NFL as an expansion team along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In 1972, a group of businessmen and local community leaders came up with a plan to bring an NFL franchise to the city of Seattle. It took two years for it to work but the NFL announced the city would get a franchise in 1974. The Nordstrom family was the major shareholder. The team was initially going to be called the Seattle Kings, but ultimately became the Seahawks (another name for Osprey) as the result of a public naming contest. The team’s blue and green Osprey logo reflected tribal art from the region’s Native Americans.

The Seahawks are the only NFL team to switch conferences twice since the league merged into the NFL. It started out in the NFC West Division in 1976 before switching to the AFC West Division in 1977. The Seattle Seahawks then moved back into the NFC West Division in 2002. In 1984, under head coach Chuck Knox, the Seattle Seahawks made their first playoff appearance, defeating the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins, before losing to the Los Angeles Raiders in the AFC Championship Game.

In 2002, the Seahawks were moved from the AFC West to the NFC West in order to balance the divisions after the addition of the expansion Houston Texans. As part of the move, the Seahawks replaced their silver helmets with steel blue helmets, and modified the osprey logo to look more aggressive.

In 2005, the Seahawks won the NFC Championship Game over the Carolina Panthers 34-14 and made it to their first (and to this point only) Super Bowl, where they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-10.

Today, the future looks very bright for the Seahawks. In 2012, the team drafted Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson with their third round pick. Wilson quickly won the starting quarterback job, threw for over 3,000 yards, 26 touchdowns, and completed over 64 percent of his passes. He also ran for nearly 500 yards and scored four touchdowns. In 2012, Wilson and a stingy Seahawk defense led the team to a playoff appearance and victory over the Washington Redskins, 24-14, before suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Atlanta Falcons, 30-28 in the divisional round.

Read how “Hooked On Phonics” has slowed down the reading speed of a generation of kids.

Today’s BrainWOD: Reading Recall

By | Enrichment, Enrichment for Adults, Ignite! At Home, Ignite! At School, Reading, wod | No Comments


Perform a full-body warmup, including your preferred Focus Drill.

Read a book of your choosing for ten minutes.

Kids <6: Storybook

Kids 6-8: Chapter of a book

Kids 8-12: Descriptive book

Teens: Homework (biology, history or other descriptive subject)

Adults: Where’s Waldo? A Mathematical Strategy for Locating The Missing Man.


Then: “Tabata Talking Two”

Do as many squats as possible in 20 seconds. Take a 10-second rest.

Do as many pushups as possible in 20 seconds. Take a 10-second rest.

‘Teach’ your book for 20 seconds: retell the story, or explain the concepts you read. Fill the full 20 seconds without pausing. Take a 10-second rest.

Repeat for up to 8 rounds. The game ends when you can’t recall more about what you read.

Ignite BrainWODs are comprised of 7 phases (the Ignite 7 Steps.) Warmups, focus drills, pre-lesson challenges and anchoring activities should precede and follow this challenge for optimal benefit.

The Ignite 7 Steps are outlined in Enrichment Through Exercise, and taught in our NeuroMotive Coach Certifications. 

Today’s BrainWOD: “Swadesh”

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CatalystGames2013-7667_zpsbe6402e2The Swadesh List is a comparison of 270 words that are the most used in each language.

Many teachers are aware of the overlap of Latin-root words (commonly called ‘Romantic’ languages.) Comparing modern-day iterations of these words still shows a common root.

Choose words for today’s lesson from the Swadesh List. Compare the words; find the roots that they have in common.

Ages 3-5: 3 nouns

Ages 6-8: 10 nounds

Ages 9-12: 10 nouns and verbs (mixed)

Ages 13-18: 20 nouns and verbs (mixed)

Build the words into a challenge and create an anchoring activity as part of the Ignite 7 Steps.

Ignite BrainWODs are comprised of 7 phases (the Ignite 7 Steps.) The above can be used on its own as a lesson in language encoding, or incorporated into the 7 Steps for optimal benefit.

The Ignite 7 Steps are outlined in Enrichment Through Exercise, and taught in our NeuroMotive Coach Certifications. 

The ConcussionPro tracking log is now available for purchase in our online store!