TOP FIVE BRAIN BREAKS FOR THE CLASSROOM
Research suggests that taking a deep breath before performing a task can improve performance. It is found that the part of the brain responsible for attention and concentration is stimulated by the action of inhaling fully. For the classroom, we can increase the electrical activity in the parts of the brain that control attention, decision making, critical thinking and planning by implementing planned and deliberate ‘Breath Breaks’ throughout the day.
Our favourites are; Dragon, Ballon, Belly, Clearing, Flower, Feather, Candle, Three part, Ocean.
Want to know more about Breath Breaks? Find out more HERE!
2. Movement Break
Introducing physical movement to the classroom can be a very daunting idea for many educators, but you’ll be pleased to know that regular exercise is a very effective way to protect and enhance brain health. Emerging research has found that the positive impact exercise has on blood pressure, weight, energy, mood, stress, anxiety, cardiovascular function all contribute to brain health and performance. By introducing regular ‘Movement Breaks’ into the school day, students’ brains are stimulated and in particular the memory function which in turn releases a chemical, brain-derived neurotrophic factor which begins to rewire and rewrite memory circuits and cells.
If there is space: Marching, Star jumps, Wish-wash, Frog jumps, Balance, Lilly pad, Tip toe, Stomp.
In the chair: Shoulder roll, twisting, figure 4, circle of joy, trigger ball, Hammer, Tap, Saw, Forward fold, Hamstring extension.
Our programs specialise in mindful movement - Get more information TODAY!
3. Connection Break
Social isolation and loneliness are growing concerns in our society today have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. Stable and secure social connections are vital for children and the classroom can offer a safe environment for these to grow. Human beings are inherently social animals and when we carve out time and space for our students to connect in the classroom we are providing opportunity to perhaps deepen learning moments, inspire change and build trust. Young people will remember how they “felt” long before they remember their multiplication facts or spelling words.
Our most effective Connection Breaks: Eye Spy, 1 min recap, Working memory digits, Pick a number, Back trace, Partner clap pattern, Eye gaze, Mirror move, Affirmation station.
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4. Create Break
The brain is a remarkable organ which is in constant renewal in need of constant care for it to consistently function well. We ask a lot of our brain to deliver and perform under all sorts of circumstances without too much thought to what it actually takes to keep it thriving and functioning. We have all felt and experienced the ‘brain recharge’ with improved focus, attention, resilience and concentration after a much needed break or time out! Carve out time for young people to experiment with creative ideas, pictures, drawings, free writing where there is no fear of the outcome or mistakes. We can give time and space to students to continue to pursue creative tasks even when they make mistakes - something that often paralyses their learning in other areas.
Build a creative corner: Draw, fold, knit, thread, colour, build, cut, glue, write, paint, imagine, dress up, play, act, narrate.
5. Gratitude Break
Emerging research in the field of positive education psychology tells us that the daily practice of gratitude is strongly associated with increased mood, belonging and contentment. In the classroom we can build ‘Gratitude Breaks’ into the daily routine and will see students; feel more positive emotions, appreciate experiences, deal with adversity or challenge, and build strong and positive relationships. Gratitude is a simple habit that can powerful and long lasting effects when a student needs to shift their attention, build awareness of self and show resilience.
A daily gratitude routine: Gratitude Jar, Journal, Letter to self or loved one, Self or peer affirmations, Teacher postcard, Secret admirer, Guardian Angel.
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