Monday 9 July 2012

Brain Breaks

I'm a fairly new teacher and I'm always looking for new changes to improve learning in the classroom. Something that seems to be gaining more and more popularity in the classroom is the importance of "Brain Breaks" - something to give the kids a break in order to create a more effective learning environment. One thing that I think is important is to keep these Brain Breaks fresh and new, so that they too, don't become boring for the students. Brain Breaks are a great way to regain students' attention, give them a break from the routine, and give them a movement break, in order to get out their wiggles.

I thought it would be interesting to list a few of the ideas that I have either seen or used myself, hopefully someone will find something new they can try in their own classroom. I must say that I am acknowledging that these are not my original ideas, nor am I claiming them to be so.

1. Yoga Breaks - With yoga becoming ever more popular with adults, of course we would see the trickle down effect to kids. Yoga studios are now offering kid classes as a way to increase flexibility and concentration. I have seen tons of classes, all the way down to Kindergarten, in which students have their own yoga mats and learn a routine to do (often after lunch). Kids seem to love to show off their moves, even knowing the proper names.

2. Follow the Leader - Turn on music, let the Special Helper lead the group in a series of dance moves and have fun! Students generally love the idea of getting to lead the group and show off their dance moves. Since this only lasts one song, it's short, but gives students the opportunity to get their wiggles out and refocus for seat work.

3. Dance Routine - Learn several dance routines as a class and then as a movement break, have fun choosing one out of a jar.

4. Choose a Brain Break - I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was a great idea.

via Pinterest

Create a list of Brain Breaks prior to the beginning of school, introduce them throughout the first few weeks and then choose one when the students need a break. I would probably want to switch these out every couple of months to keep the students from getting bored.

I might try to come up with my own ideas for Brain Breaks soon, and then I'll definitely share . . . or I might have my own brain break by laying out in the sun!

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