Brain Breaks: they’re nothing new but again, one of those oh-so-powerful tools that some of use might be missing out on. It is also a topic that needs a lot more discussion in the future. Let’s just scratch the surface today.
What are brain breaks?
Just in case you didn’t know, they a very quick break in between lessons (or sometimes during a lesson!) that get your students’s brains a chance to reset a bit.
Think about yourself: if you are studying, reading intense material, or focused on something that takes a lot of your mental energy, you find yourself needing a break. You usually get up and get a cup of coffee, a snack, or anything that you need at the time.
Do you ever give your students a chance to take a break of their own? Some days our schedule is so action-packed we might forget this crucial tidbit of time that can make such a difference in the rest of the day.
What are the benefits of a brain break?
- Your students have a chance to refocus.
- Students can get their wiggles out.
- It can get you all up and moving.
- Improvements on behavior (often times behavioral issues arise when a child is frustrated with the work. This gives them a chance to take a break and start new again)
- Gives you a refresher too!
- So. Much. More.
What can you do for a brain break?
This is seriously an ongoing list! There is SO MUCH YOU CAN DO!
- Play a song: get up and DANCE! Every year my students LOVED “Jump in the Line” by Harry Belafonte. I would close my door and tell them they could do whatever they wanted while the song was playing. The only rules were no swinging arms, or knocking things down. I would have students jump, dance, sing, or just stay in their seat and watch. It was SO MUCH FUN.
- Jump on GooNoodle.com: There are endless videos and ideas that get you up and moving. They range from very active, to meditation type of activities. My students loved trying a new one each time.
- Task Cards: There is a huge array of task cards on TPT! Or if you are feeling creative, make a set for yourself. Draw a card whenever you need a break and complete what is on the card (ex: stand on one leg for one minute, jumping jacks for 30 seconds, sing a silly song as a class)
- Water break: Take everyone down to the closest water fountain and let everyone get a drink of water.
- Walk outside: A quick little walk and some fresh air is sure to wake everyone up.
- Play a quick game: Games do not need to always take a lot of your time. Play a quick game of Simon says!
- Have a gab-attack: Set a timer and let your students get up and talk to whoever they want about whatever they want. When the timer is up, it is time to sit down and listen!
- Plus so much more!
I know some teachers shy away from brain breaks because they are often noisy, disruptive, and take up more time in your day. Think about it this way: if you took 30 seconds to a minute to do one of these, it might just give you 5-10 minutes back because you are not having to redirect. Like I said, behavior issues can pop up when a student is bored or frustrated. Let them take a step back and reset their way of thinking.
School these days is HARD. Don’t forget that these students are feeling it way more than we do!
Pay attention to the signs in your classroom. Are your students fidgety? Sleepy? Not listening? It MIGHT be time for a brain break!!!
If you have any questions about brain breaks, or need more ideas please do not hesitate to ask in the comments or drop me an email! I would love to help.
Vol. 3 – Behavior Chart or No Behavior Chart?
Vol. 4 – Tips for returning from Spring Break
Vol. 5 – Aromatherapy for Behavior
Vol. 7 – Managing Fire and Lock-down Drills
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