Introduction

What’s a BrainRush?

A BrainRush is a short, fast-paced learning game that automatically adapts to meet the needs of each student. Because they are small, they are easy to master, easy to create, and easy to fit into any curriculum. Brain science teaches us that the mind is most primed for learning when it is actively engaged, rather than when passively watching or reading, so with BrainRush all learning happens through active play.
Students play each lesson-game until they fully master all the material. Some students do this quickly, and some take longer, but everyone masters every topic before they move on to the next BrainRush. This ensures that all students achieve an equal foundation, and that no one is left behind.
Learn more about our approach.

I’m a teacher, how can I use BrainRush?

We've specifically designed our platform to support teachers - with easy-to-use (and free!) tools to help you differentiate your instruction and to help every student unlock their full potential. BrainRush lesson-games adapt to each student, giving personalized practice with the concepts he/she needs most.
It is important to note that BrainRush is customizable - you can use it as little or as often, in whatever way works best for your students. BrainRush is also not a prescribed curriculum; you can plug it into whatever you already teach and supplement your current lesson plans. You decide what you want to assign your students (our library has thousands of games covering all subjects, or you can create your own in minutes), and then BrainRush will adapt to give each one the personalized practice they need to develop fluency and mastery.
More ideas on ways to use BrainRush in your classroom can be found in the Lead section of this FAQ.

Can I use BrainRush if I’m not a teacher?

Yes! BrainRush is free for everyone and is used by many parents, tutors, and mentors who want to help the students in their life succeed. It is also ideal for learners of any age who want to learn in an active, fast, and fun way!

What subjects does BrainRush cover?

BrainRush covers all subjects and is appropriate for all grades, K-12 and beyond. Browse our library or search by subject, standard, title, author or tag. We also have some great playlists which each contain a number of BrainRushes organized by content area and grade level.

Is BrainRush Common Core aligned?

Yes! All of our Math and English Language Arts content is tagged by CCSS when appropriate.

How is the site free?

We will introduce advertisements to the site soon, which anyone will be able to turn off for a nominal fee. We'll also offer premium content and premium features. However, we are committed to our mission to provide free, exceptional educational content to anyone and everyone. Therefore, the majority of the content on our site will always be free.

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Sign Up/Sign In

What is the Google registration option?

This allows you to create an account with your Google login (could be your login for Gmail, Google+, Google Apps for Education, a school email account set up with Google, or any other Google product). This option is often simpler than the regular registration process because you don’t have to enter in all the registration details, nor do you have to wait to receive a verification email before you can login. Plus since you will be able to use your Google login to sign in going forward, it’s one fewer login & password that you’ll have to remember!

Why do you need my birthdate?

Due to Federal Trade Commission regulations, we are required to track users under 13 and to treat those accounts differently in some cases.

What if I don’t receive the verification email after I register?

Once you complete and submit the registration form, a verification email will be sent to the account under which you registered. We require this to verify that you indeed have access to that email account and that there weren’t any typos in the address you provided. The email usually arrives right away, but if you haven’t received it within 10 minutes or so, it’s possible that it is in your Spam folder. In some cases, an email server may block outside emails (for example, school email accounts may do this). You can always trigger a resend of the verification email by going here. If you still don’t receive the email, we recommend trying the Google option which is simpler and doesn’t require the verification step (see Google question in this section). Or you might want to try registering again with a different email account.
Please contact us if you continue to have trouble!

What if my students don’t have email addresses?

No problem. As a teacher or parent, you can create accounts for them without needing email accounts. Please check out the discussion of adding students in the Lead section of this FAQ.

I forgot my password, how do I log in?

The Sign In page has a Forgot Password link that will enable you to reset your password via your email account.

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Learn

How do I play?

Playing a BrainRush is easy! Simply login and click on a BrainRush that you want to play (you can discover them in the Library or go to your Learn page to see what your teachers have assigned to you). You’ll first see the preview page which gives you the opportunity to check out the material you’ll learn in that particular BrainRush. When you are ready, just click the Play button on the upper right. BrainRush works a little differently from other learning sites. As you play, you’ll grow in mastery of the material and you’ll see your mastery meter increase. You won’t finish the BrainRush until you reach 100% mastery. You can always stop the game and come back later, right where you left off. Most importantly, since BrainRush adapts the delivery time and repetition of content to each individual learner, your gameplay experience will be different from anyone else’s experience. So we recommend that you jump right in! Don’t spend too much time on the preview page, learning the content ahead of time. BrainRush is all about learning while you play, and you’re never penalized for an incorrect response. All that matters is that when you finish playing, you’ll have fully mastered the material!

What are Genius Points?

As you master concepts in a BrainRush, you earn Genius Points. You earn 1 Genius Point for each concept you master at 100%.

What does mastery mean?

BrainRush focuses on mastery-based learning. This means that it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to complete a BrainRush, what matters is that you play until you master the material. If you are struggling with a particular concept, you’ll see that concept more often while you’re playing. And conversely, you won’t see the concepts that you master quickly very often. This way the learning process is adapted to each learner and is super efficient.

The clock is too fast, can I slow it down?

The clock timing is determined by our algorithms which adapt the delivery of the content to each learner. If you are struggling with a particular concept, you’ll get more time. If you demonstrate that you know a concept, you’ll get less time. If you have 3 answer choices, you’ll get less time than if you have 9 answer choices. You get the idea! The point is to keep you in your own personal learning sweet spot. We are always working to improve our algorithms, so if you have feedback, please email us!

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Lead

How do I create a class?

From your Lead page, go to the "My Classes" tab and then click "Add a Class". You’ll be prompted to name your class. Then you’ll be able to add both students and assignments to the class. To add students, click "Enroll Students". To add assignments, click "Find BrainRushes" to assign. You can also assign BrainRushes by going directly to the library, selecting a BrainRush, and clicking "Assign to Students" from the Choose An Action dropdown menu on the right.
To learn more, watch this video tutorial.

How do I add students?

Start on your Lead page and click "Master Student List", then "Add a Student". You will be able to add students in 2 different ways - creating the accounts for them or inviting them to create their own account. It’s up to you whether to create the accounts for them or invite them to create their own. If they create their own they will need an email address and then will be in charge of their own account and login info. In many cases it’s better to create the accounts yourself so that you can control the process and have access to all login information. This is also a great option if your students don’t have email addresses or are too young to manage a sign up. We make it easy to create multiple accounts at once (see Upload Student List question in this section).
To learn more, watch this video tutorial.

How do I invite students to join BrainRush and my class?

You can invite students to join your class from the "Add Students" page. On the right side of the page you will be able to enter an email addresses for each student you want to invite. You can also include an optional message, and you can specify the class you’ll want them added to once joined. Your students will receive an email inviting them to sign up for BrainRush and to accept you as a leader. They will need to click the link in that email and create an account. Once they do, they will be automatically added to your Master Student List, as well as to a class if you specified that on the invite.
To learn more, watch this video tutorial.

How do I create accounts for my students?

You can create accounts for your students on the left side of the "Add Students" page, either individually or as a group. See below for info on creating multiple accounts via uploading a student list. To create an individual account, enter the student’s first name, last name, and the username and password you’d like them to have. Click "Create Account". The account will be created and added to your Master Student List. Make sure to write down the student’s password since you will be unable to see it again. You will however be able to reset the password of any account you create, should the student forget it.
To learn more, watch this video tutorial.

How does the Upload Student List work?

The Upload List option allows you to create accounts for multiple students at once (for example for a whole class). Here are the steps:

  1. Create a roster and save as an Excel or CSV file:
    1. First column: student’s first names
    2. Second column: student’s last names (note – if you want to leave out last names, just leave the 2nd column blank)
    3. Third column: type in usernames or leave this column blank and the system will automatically generate them for you
    4. Fourth column: type in passwords. We highly recommend choosing an easy-to-remember password, otherwise our software will generate hard-to-remember passwords.
    Note: If you have multiple classes, save each class list as an individual file. Avoid files with multiple tabs.
  2. Upload the file - Go to the "Add Students" page, and click "Upload List" on the left side. Click "Choose File" and upload your list.
  3. You’ll now see a preview of all your student accounts. Spot-check for accuracy. Especially check for misspellings; you won’t be able to edit names later! If you are happy with it, hit “Confirm.”
  4. Your browser will automatically download a PDF file with usernames and passwords. Locate this file and save it! You won’t be able to download it again since our system keeps passwords very secure.
  5. Cut login cards and hand out to students. They can immediately sign in on our login page.

What if my students don’t receive the invite emails?

The email invitation usually arrives right away, but if your students haven’t received within 10 minutes or so, it’s possible that it ended up in a Spam folder. And in some cases, an email server may block outside emails (school email accounts do this at times). If you continue to have trouble, creating accounts for your students may be a better option than inviting them to create their own since this doesn’t require the use of student emails and since you can control the full process. See the “How do I create accounts for my students?” question in this section. Please contact us if you have questions.

How do I assign BrainRushes?

To assign a BrainRush to a class or students, start in the library and find a game to assign. On the preview page for that BrainRush, select "Assign to Students" from the "Choose An Action" dropdown menu. You will then be able to assign it to any of your classes or individual students. Once assigned, your students will see that BrainRush on their Learn page.
To learn more, watch this video tutorial.

How do I monitor my students’ work?

On your Lead page, you can monitor student work in real time. Click on a class, then on an assignment. You’ll see a report showing progress of each student in that class on the assignment, including total mastery achieved and time spent playing the BrainRush. You can refresh the page and update the info in real time.
To learn more, watch this video tutorial.

The clock is too fast for my students. Can I alter the time allowed?

The clock timing is determined by our algorithms which adapt the delivery of the content to each learner. If a student is struggling with a particular concept, he’ll get more time. If he demonstrates that he knows a concept, he’ll get less time. If he has 3 answer choices, he’ll get less time than if he has 9 answer choices. You get the idea! The point is to keep each student in his personal learning sweet spot. With that said, we recognize that there are some outlier cases. If you think that the timing algorithm isn’t working optimally for your students, please email us! We’d love to hear more so that we can improve.

Can a student have multiple teachers?

Yes! In order for a student to connect to an additional teacher/leader, the student should click the "Invite a Leader" link on their Learn page (next to the ‘assigned by’ section). From there the student will enter the email address of the teacher, and it will need to be the same email address under which they created their account. The new teacher will receive the invite via email and once the teacher clicks the ‘accept’ link they will see the student in her Master Student List and will be able to assign the student work and monitor progress. On the student's Learn page, they will then be able to use the ‘assigned by’ dropdown menu to view assignments by each teacher.

How can I use BrainRush in my classroom?

The great thing about BrainRush is that it’s customizable - you can use it as little or as often, in whatever way works best for your students. Here are some ways you can use BrainRush (without shaking up all the amazing things you already do.)

  • Bell Work/Bell Ringer Exercises: If your school is One to One, start the class period with a BrainRush! You can quickly frontload information, and your students will stay engaged as you take attendance, check homework, and set up for your lesson.
  • Homework Practice: Assign BrainRushes for homework as additional practice or preparation for an upcoming in-class activity. BrainRush can be accessed on all devices, even smartphones, so many students can play at home.
  • Vocabulary: Does your textbook contain a list of vocabulary terms for each chapter section? Do your students need to know those words to grasp the content? You can quickly create a custom vocabulary BrainRush in Cards template, and use it to introduce new terms to students.
  • Stations/Blended Learning: Not One to One? No problem. If you love blended learning and have access to a handful of devices, break students up in small groups that rotate through stations, one of which can involve playing a BrainRush!
  • Remediation: If you need to bring one or more students up to speed, assign BrainRushes especially for them. You can also copy & edit existing BrainRushes to modify language or add media to accommodate students’ unique needs.
  • Enrichment: Have kids that finish early and want to get ahead? Get their creative juices flowing by showing them BrainRush Creation Tools and letting them create games their peers can use. After all, the best kind of learning is teaching others!
  • Test Preparation: Big exam? Big pressure? Traditional test prep can stress students out, but since everyone achieves 100% mastery with BrainRush, they’ll master the necessary skills through play. No pressure in that!
  • Summative Project: Do you usually have students create Powerpoints or posterboards at the end of a unit? Why not ask them to create BrainRushes to teach others what they have learned?
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Create

How do I create a BrainRush?

Go to the Create tab, and follow the simple five step process below!

  1. Enter a descriptive title: “A Wrinkle in Time: Ch. 2 Vocab” is better than “Vocabulary 2,” and “Multiplication Facts: Tens” is better than “3rd grade math.”
  2. Add Content
    Special notes about the Cards Template:
    • Input longer information on the FRONT of a card. That way, when people play your game, they don’t have to read as much. This keeps the BrainRush fast & fun!
    • Consider adding images. Openclipart.org and Wikimedia Commons are great places to look for images!
    • Consider adding voiceovers. Record on free software such as Audacity, and then upload as mp3’s.
    • BrainRushes with 10-25 cards are ideal. If you have more than 25 cards, split them into separate BrainRushes.

    Special notes about the Buckets Template:
    • Buckets: you can have up to 6 buckets; label your buckets with text, an image, or both
    • Bucket Items: can have text, an image, audio, or all three! Note: space on an item is limited, so if you upload an image, keep the phrase short to make sure everything fits.

    Special notes about the Sequences Template:
    • Sequences games are great for concepts involving order, like spelling, math equations, sentence structure, fill in the blank, and deducing math formulas.
    • The question your asking could be a sentence, formula, picture, etc., which you will then create a sequence for.
    • Creating the sequence or answer is started by creating tiles with fractional pieces of the final answer.
    • These tiles are then dragged and dropped in any order you wish.
    • Be careful of your tile order, double check for the correct sequence of tiles, as a misplaced tile could ruin a well designed BrainRush.
    • Note: You can have as many questions as you would like, however typically these BrainRushes are between 5 - 10 questions.
    • Note: A large sequence/answer may confuse the player, try to make the sequence as concise as possible to avoid confusion.

    Special notes about the Hotspots Template:
    • The hotspots concept is perfect for diagrams, maps, and parts of systems where examination of specific components of an image are necessary for learning.
    • A hotspots game is started by uploading the desired image to assess.
    • Once uploaded the editing toolbar will appear above the image.
    • Select the type of shape of hotspot you desire to create (square, circle, and polygon) from the toolbar.
    • Once the shape for making the hotspot is selected click/drag over the desired zone of the image in question.
    • All hotspots must contain a "phrase" before publication can occur.
    • A hotspot's position can be changed by selecting the move tool from the toolbar then clicking and dragging the desired hotspot.
    • There is a grouping tool as well which can be used to group several hotspots together under one phrase.
    • Hint: To select multiple hotspots, hold down the <shift> key while clicking each hotspot.

  3. Upload a thumbnail: Choose an image that gives a little bit more information about your BrainRush!
  4. Add tags to help others find your BrainRush
    • Start with a subject area, like math, ela, science, social studies, etc.
    • Add more specific tags, like geometry or biology.
    • If your BrainRush is aligned to the Common Core or other state standards, tag it with the standard!
  5. Publish!
    • Hit “Publish” and voilà, you’ve shared your knowledge with the BrainRush community.
    • Or un-check “Include in Library” and your BrainRush will only be visible to those you show.

I made a mistake on my published BrainRush. What do I do?

Currently you can’t edit a published BrainRush; however you can make a copy of it and edit it however you’d like. Then you can publish that new version in the library and remove the old version from the library. To copy a BrainRush, go to the preview page of that BrainRush and select Copy and Edit from the Choose An Action dropdown menu.

Should I publish in the library or out of the library?

This is entirely up to you. BrainRush is meant to be a community effort, so having lots of quality content from around the world is very important and valuable to all members. If you chose to publish in the library, your content and name will be searchable by any user. If you don’t want your content to be searchable by anyone else, do not publish in the library. You can also always move your content in and out of the library retroactively. Also please note that you can’t currently test your BrainRush before publishing, so you might want to first publish out of the library, then test and copy/edit as you see fit. Once you are happy with it, add it to the library and share it with the world!

Why isn’t the BrainRush I created in the library?

When you publish a BrainRush, you have the option to publish to the library. You’ll see a checkbox right before you publish which allows you to select your preference. If your BrainRush isn’t appearing in the library, you probably unchecked the "Publish to Library box". You can always go back to your Create page later and move it in or out of the library.

Can I move my BrainRush in or out of the library retroactively?

Yes, you can! Simply go to your Create page and select the "Published" tab. Click on the BrainRush in question to go to its preview page, then go to the Chose an Action drop down menu and select either the "Publish to Library" or the "Remove from Library" link.

What are tags and how do I add them to my BrainRush?

When you are creating a BrainRush, you’ll see a Tags section right below the title. Click the Edit Tags link next to it and type in any tag you think fits. As you begin to type, you’ll see suggestions which you can select, but you can also create your own. Each BrainRush can have multiple tags. Since tags are used to help others find your BrainRush, it’s helpful to use tags which are already being used instead of adding slightly different versions. For example if you create a BrainRush on different dog breeds and find a ‘dog’ tag in the system, please use that instead of creating a new one called ‘dogs.’ This ensures that more users will easily find your content.
To learn more, watch this video tutorial.

How do I add images and audio?

You can add images and/or audio files to Cards and Bucket games. First you will need to have the image or audio files on your computer in a location you can find easily.
To upload, click Edit on the relevant item and then click Choose File next to the place where you want to add either an image or audio. Navigate to the file on your computer and select it. Note - audio files need to be in MP3 format.

Note - Openclipart.org and Wikimedia Commons are great places to look for images. And free software such as Audacity makes recording audio files very easy.

To learn more, watch this video tutorial.

How do I use the Copy & Edit feature?

You can copy and edit any BrainRush in the library (except for ones in the Hotspot template). When you are on the preview page for that BrainRush, click the Choose An Action dropdown menu on the right, and then select Copy & Edit. You will then be able to name your version of the BrainRush and edit it however you like. Once complete you can publish. This is a great tool with many uses. For example, you might find an almost perfect BrainRush for your class and just want to edit or add 1 item. Or you might see a BrainRush in Spanish, but since you teach German you copy and swap out the Spanish for German.
To learn more, watch this video tutorial.

I want to adjust the timer for my game. Can I do that?

The clock timing is determined by our algorithms which adapt the delivery of the content to each learner. If a student is struggling with a particular concept, he’ll get more time. If he demonstrates that he knows a concept, he’ll get less time. If he has 3 answer choices, he’ll get less time than if he has 9 answer choices. You get the idea! The point is to keep each student in this personal learning sweet spot.
With that said, we recognize that there are some outlier cases. If you think that the timing algorithm isn’t working optimally for your BrainRush, please email us! We’d love to hear more so that we can improve.

Can users under 13 publish BrainRushes?

Yes, however they cannot publish them in the public library. These users can still share the link to their published BrainRush with a teacher or other user, who will then be able to play it.

What are the different templates offered?

We currently have 3 game templates - Hotspots, Cards, and Buckets. Each is particularly good at teaching a certain type of material. You can learn more about the different templates, and new templates in the works here.

Do you have more templates in the works?

Yes, we are continuously developing new game templates. The next one we’re working on is called Sequences. Sequences is all about order & organization, and is great for concepts like spelling, sentence structure, or chronology. If you have an idea for a new game template, please email us!

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Library

The library homepage has a search bar where you can search for BrainRushes by title, author, content, tag, or Common Core standard. You can also search by clicking on a tag which will bring up all BrainRushes with that tag. We also have some great playlists which each contain a number of BrainRushes organized by content area.

What’s a tag?

A tag is simply a way to classify a BrainRush. Tags can denote a subject such as Science, a grade level, a standard, or many other things. A BrainRush can have multiple tags. When you create a BrainRush you can chose to tag it; this will make it more easily findable in the library. The library homepage contains a short list of most commonly used tags, but you can see a full list of active tags here.

What’s a playlist?

A playlist is a curated list of BrainRushes. We’ve created a bunch of playlists to make it easier for you to find content that naturally goes together. For example, we have a 5th Grade playlist which contains all sorts of awesome BrainRushes which a 5th Grade teacher might need - anything from ELA, to math, to science, to geography. You can find the full set of playlists here.

Why isn’t the BrainRush I created in the library?

When you publish a BrainRush, you have the option to publish it in the library. You’ll see a checkbox right before you publish which allows you to select your preference. If your BrainRush isn’t appearing in the library, you probably unchecked the "Include in Library" box. You can always go back to your Create page later and move it in or out of the library.

Can I move my BrainRush in or out of the library retroactively?

Yes, you can! Simply go to your Create page and click the "Published" tab. Select the BrainRush in question and click either the "Publish to Library" or the "Remove from Library" button (depending on which is relevant).

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