Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Brain Breaks...Not Just for Elementary

As the semester draws to a close, you may have noticed that it’s a little harder to keep your students’ full attention. While you’re trying to teach a lesson or review for assessments, students are drifting off with visions of sleeping late and vacations. What’s a teacher to do? Incorporate brain breaks of course!

Research has repeatedly shown that students of all ages benefit from those brief bursts of physical activity known as brain breaks. Typically lasting anywhere from two to ten minutes, brain breaks can involve technology, but it isn't always a necessary piece. The idea is just to get the kids moving, and give them a chance to reset and refocus. Brain breaks require little to no prep by the teacher and can be done before, during, or after a lesson. There are many different brain break ideas online. Here are a few to get you started:

Brain Breaks – No Technology Required
Incorporating Brain Breaks
Thumb War or Peace
Figure 8

Brain Breaks - Movement Videos 
Just Dance Symbaloo Webmix
Brain Break Symbaloo Webmix

Move It
Need a reminder that it’s time for a brain break? Try the Chrome Extension: Move It. Set your time intervals in Move It, and you will be notified when it’s time to move. Move It even gives you an activity to complete.

So next time you start to notice that far away look in your students' eyes, get them up and moving with a brain break! If you're already using brain breaks in your classroom, share some of your favorites in the comments below.

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