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As an elementary school teacher, you know that young students have a lot of energy, and can sometimes have a hard time staying focused during long periods of instruction. That’s why incorporating brain breaks into your lessons can be an effective way to help your students recharge and refocus their attention. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of using brain breaks with younger students, what a good brain break looks like, when to use them, and how to use them in your classroom.
What are the Benefits of Using Brain Breaks?
There are many benefits to using brain breaks with younger students. Some of the most significant benefits include:
- Improved Focus: Brain breaks give students a chance to reset their focus and attention, making it easier for them to stay engaged during longer periods of instruction.
- Increased Energy: Taking a quick break to move their bodies can help students feel more alert and energized, leading to improved learning and retention.
- Reduced Stress: Brain breaks can help reduce stress levels in the classroom, creating a more positive and productive learning environment.
- Enhanced Creativity: Brain breaks that involve creative activities, such as drawing or storytelling, can help stimulate students’ imaginations and encourage them to think outside the box.
What are Good Brain Breaks?
Good brain breaks are activities that are quick, simple, and fun. They should be easy to implement and not require a lot of preparation. Here are the three that I use most often in my classroom.
- Physical activity breaks: These can be simple stretches, dance parties, or games that involve movement.
- Mindfulness breaks: These can be breathing exercises, guided meditations, or visualizations.
- Creative breaks: These can be drawing, writing, or storytelling activities that give students a chance to express themselves and think creatively.
When Should I Use Them?
You should use brain breaks whenever you notice that your students are starting to lose focus or become restless. The rule of thumb I usually go by is that students have the attention span of whatever their age is in minutes. For example, a five year old has a five minute attention span. After the five minutes, I would use a brain break. Here are some other examples of when to use brain breaks:
- During transitions between lessons or activities.
- Midway through a longer lesson or activity.
- After a particularly challenging task or assignment.
- Whenever you notice that your students are becoming restless or fidgety.
Okay – How do I use them?
Here are some tips for using brain breaks in your classroom:
- Keep it simple: Brain breaks should be easy to implement and not require a lot of preparation.
- Be consistent: Use brain breaks consistently, so your students know what to expect.
- Mix it up: Vary the types of brain breaks you use, so your students don’t get bored.
- Involve your students: Let your students suggest brain break ideas or even lead brain breaks themselves.
Some of My Favorite Resources
- Go Noodle – Go Noodle is a free resource that has movement and mindfulness activities that you can use in their classroom.
- Youtube – There are a million different brain breaks on youtube that you can use.
- I have created three powerpoints that incorporate brain breaks with numbers, letters, and colors! Click here for those powerpoints.
In conclusion, incorporating brain breaks into your lessons can be an effective way to help your younger students stay focused, energized, and engaged. Good brain breaks are quick, simple, and fun, and can be used whenever you notice that your students are becoming restless or losing focus. By using brain breaks consistently and mixing up the types of activities you use, you can create a more positive and productive learning environment for your students.
Once again, if you are interested, I have a brain break bundle that you can purchase here! And don’t forget to join my free resource library for free goodies!