1. Start the day with a brain break! Why not? It's a great way to start every morning and will get the students ready for a fun and engaging day of school.
2. After a lesson. Use brain breaks as a transition! This will help enhance focus for whatever is next to come.
3. If you notice your students are losing their attention, have a surprise brain break and get them up and moving. This will help their bodies regain focus. **A great way to do this is to have a bell that is rung by the teacher every time a brain break is about to happen. (This can work with any instrument)**
4. During a lesson, as part of the lesson! If a lesson is heavy on the amount of material being received, break it up and turn the info into a game, ultimately becoming a brain break.
5. Before a test! Many students get nervous before a test is given, so have a brain break, then administer the test. It may be a good idea to also administer one after the test as well, as students may feel their brain is fried, so get it re-energized again.
Incorporate Educational Technology!
Even though brain breaks is a concept that has been around and researched for a while, brain breaks just recently have become more widespread. In some districts they are now a requirement. Here are a couple examples of how educational technology can be used. (Keep in mind more educational technology is sure to pop up in the near future as this concept continues to gain popularity):
This video service was created specifically for brain breaks and is full of school approved videos and activities for any classroom, no matter the age or grade level.
This app was created to get kids up and moving. The app is full of games and activities to suit many different ages and grade levels.
Examples Of Brain Breaks...
Do the Conga!
Activity: Have students line up, placing their hands on the shoulders of the student in front of them. Start some music and lead students around the classroom.
Whip/ Nae Nae Workout
This is a brain break that can be incorporated into a lesson. This specific example can be used if students are learning about the heart, nutrition, or anything science related dealing with the body. It can be modified to meet a lesson's criteria.
- The teacher will discuss a given topic, such as the heart (what strengthens/weakens it)
- Teacher gives an example of an activity that can strengthen/weaken the heart
- Teacher instructs students that he/she will be listing a bunch of activities. If the student thinks the activity strengthens the heart than the student should jump, if it weakens the heart the student should squat.
- Examples of activities to vocalize are: raking leaves (jump), swimming (jump), playing video games (squat), riding a bike (jump), dancing with friends (jump), eating fast food (squat), etc.
The Sid Shuffle
Student run brain break.
Activity: Have a student lead a 3-5 minute physical activity break doing any activity or game of the class's choosing. Be creative and have everyone in the class get involved.
Find More Brain Break Ideas....
The following websites are great resources for finding brain break ideas. Feel free to modify any ideas you see to fit the activity to your class's needs.
** Note: This is just a sampling of resources that are available**
- YouTube: Good resource for brain break videos. *Not all school approved videos, so do some research and searching before presenting to class.*
- Pinterest: Great resource to gather ideas from other teachers around the world!
- AISD: List of brain breaks from Austin Independent School District.
- EatSmartMoveMoreNC: List of "energizer" activities for grades K-5.
- MindsInBloom: List of brain breaks that last approximately 3 minutes.
- The Happy Teacher: List of very simple brain breaks that don't require many materials.
What Standards Do Brain Breaks Incorporate?
International Society for Technology in Education- Teachers
- Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity.
- Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments.
International Society for Technology in Education- Students
- Creativity and innovation.
- Communication and collaboration.
Brain breaks are developed and implemented in a classroom to help students regain focus and concentration. Brain breaks may not meet any Common Core State Standards specifically, but they are a great tool to make sure your students retain the standards and skills being taught.
- Grauer, S. (2013, 13 Oct). Small Schools Coalition. Sitting Disease. Retrieved from: http://smallschoolscoalition.com/sitting-disease/
- Libby, H. (2016, 22 June). UpWorthy. The Amazing Way 5 Minutes Can Affect Your Child's Learning Experience. Retrieved from: http://www.upworthy.com/the-amazing-way-5-minutes-can-affect-your-childs-learning-experience
- Images retrieved from: Google & Adobe Spark
Created by: Chelsea Vrabel