Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Brain Breaks

Hi everyone,

Are you sometimes finding your students off task or simply "on cloud 9"? We often think this happens because a student is not interested in completing assigned work or "doesn't care about school". The day I realized that this was incorrect, I changed my way of thinking drastically!

Did you know that kids sometimes just need a break? Even as adults, we often find ourselves getting antsy after working on a specific task for a long period of time. We will get up and take break by doing simple things like making a cup of coffee or emptying the dishwasher. Well, just like adults, children need breaks too!

In my classroom, I use brain breaks. 
My students LOVE them!
Brain breaks are simply quick and easy activities that get us up out of our seat for just 2-3 minutes. I've been using brain breaks for years now and I adore them because they really help students refresh their attentions spans and move their bodies a little in order to find their better sitting positions (kids tend to 'slouch' after sitting too long). 

I usually do these breaks every 20-30 minutes, depending on what we are working on. I just announce to my students that we will be taking a brain break and they know exactly what this means. It does NOT mean that they can get up and start chatting with their neighbor. I have them 'trained' early in the year to get up and wait for instructions. I then tell them what activity we will do and we do it without causing commotion. The rule is simple. If the group of students in the classroom next door is aware that we are doing a brain break, it's because we were too loud! The reason I am so strict with these brain breaks is because I want my students to be in control of their actions. This will help them be more able to sit down and get right back to work once we are finished our break ;)

Over the years, I've come up with different activities that we can do during brain breaks. I decided to make myself some cards with every activity typed onto them. 
Look what I made!
There is a FREEBIE in the preview file!

This pack includes 52 brain break cards and an EDITABLE version too!

Now, I have a cute little deck of cards that I keep on my desk :)

When we are in need of a break, I turn my pack over, fan them out like a deck of cards, and ask a student to pick a card (just like a magic trick). My kiddies love having their turn to pick a card!

What do you do to keep your students on task? Leave me a comment and I will choose one person who will win my new Move & Groove - Brain Breaks For Your Classroom Pack!

Don't forget to leave your email.

Later gators,


Lisa Mattes said...

Thank you! Love that red ring you have to hold the cards together. Super cute!

Brain Breaks rock...they always bring a smile to everyone's face!

Smiles - Lisa
Growing Firsties

Mrs. Fleming said...

I teach middle school and the kids get antsy before the end of class so I have been using something I call "Shake, Rattle, and Roll." The kids stand up and shake their arms and legs, rattle their bodies and roll their shoulders. It's just enough to get the blood flowing again but not enough to get them off task! Love the idea of doing different things!

Elli said...

I teach grade 2 here in Oz and towards the end of the year we would 'Gangam style' for a few minutes with the kids singing the song and dancing. They loved it and since they were all mad about the song and dance it got a little of it out of their system!
Love your cards though

Julie Sawyer said...

I love the idea of having a bunch of these on a ring to pull out and use. Thank you!

Math is Elementary

Rachel Seymour said...

These are soooo cute and such a great idea!! I have a Pinterest board with brain break videos so we watch those and my kiddos love them! They've started making requests now that we've seen them so many times! :)


Amy Henchey said...

These look great! I am looking to add more movement throughout my day and these look great!


~brookeb~ said...

They look great!! My 2nd graders love moving in between lessons. Their favourite is follow the leader.

Sarah Poole said...

love this idea. always looking for ways to help the kids move a little!!

Kimberli Maultsby said...

These look great! I can't seem to find the preview button though. Can you help?

Deanne Lanni said...

I like to dance with my 2nd Graders. We do the twist, Hokey Pokey and Electric Slide! I would love to add these to my collection of songs. deanne.lanni@gmail.com

Mrs. Dwyer said...

I keep the ipod docked and ready to go with Dr. Jean or Jack Hartmann for my firsties. When they need a quick break, we get up and move to get our wiggles out. I love the idea of these cards! Thanks for sharing! =)


Janine said...

We break out and do the Cha Cha slide and now we are starting to "twerk" thanks to my dancing teenage daughter! You should see my firsties pop their booties!!!!

My fingers are so crossed for this :)



Alice Karr said...

Love this idea too! But I don't see the preview button :(


Valerie said...

So sorry, Alice! The preview file did not upload in my TPT store. It's there now :)

Valerie said...

So sorry, Kimberli! The preview file did not upload in my TPT store. It's there now :)

Jennifer Cimini said...

I help my students stay on task by building in brain/body breaks...Yogie Yoga is one of our favorties!

Sarah said...

I put up just dance kids and we groove to a song :)


R. West said...

I kept losing my list of brain break exercises so my husband and I made an app with them. (I always have my iPhone with me.) I'm still so excited that I helped make an app! Check it out. It's called Minute Moves.


Amanda said...

sounds like a great idea!! repete_21@yahoo.com

Tasha Whitt said...

I found you through Classroom Freebies Too! I love this idea! I am a new follower. :-)


Anonymous said...

Very cute! My second graders need a brain break about every 15 minutes or so! Last year I incorporated a few yoga moves for our breaks, but your ideas are much more creative :)


Anonymous said...

Wow this looks so awesome I am a teachers aide for a very large kindergarten class. We are always trying to get the kiddos to focus and nothing seems to work. These cards would be so great!!! How can I order a pack for the Teacher to have in her classroom?

Thanks so much

Breanna said...

I love this Idea! I am getting ready to start student teaching and these would be very helpful!

sully said...

Hello! I'd like to mention that I think this is a fabulous idea! I've a class of 28 who are in need of activities to help their concentration! eikkkkk
my email is mollyosully@gmx.com I would really appreciate your help! :-)

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