A Brain Break is a short period of time where you break up the instruction with a quick activity to help students refocus and recharge their brains. While it may sound elementary, research has shown that taking just a few minutes to let students laugh, wiggle, and switch gears will return them to your lesson more focused and ready to learn. It can also help inspire creativity! Shoot to have a short Brain Break every 25-30 minutes.
Here are a quick few brain breaks you can try in your classroom!
- Squiggle Story: On a blank sheet of paper, whiteboard, or desk with dry erase marker, draw one squiggly line. Give students one minute to stand and draw with their opposite hand, turning the line into a picture or design of their choice.
- Opposite Sides: Have students stand and blink with the right eye while snapping the fingers of their left hand. Repeat this with the left eye and right hand. Students could also face one another and tap the right foot once, left foot twice, and right foot three times, building speed as they alternate toe tapping with their partner.
- Rock Scissors Paper Math: With the traditional game, the last call-out is "math." With that call, students lay out one, two, three, or four fingers in the palm of their hand. The best of three wins.
Watch It In Action
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If your kids suggested having a dance-off to deal with conflict as part of your social contract - then this is for you. Go Noodle offers free, short (3-5 minute) video brain breaks. Some are aerobic (try the Zumba Wipeout or the Discus Throw!), some are relaxing (try the Yoga with Maximo!) and some are just downright silly (try the Caveman with Funky Chicken or the Ninja Training!). They may seem juvenile (and they are) - but they are great for lightening the mood, getting the crankies out and encouraging everyone to have just a little fun for a few minutes!
Energizing Brain Breaks: Videos and tons of ideas of brain breaks.
Flappy Bert: Like Flappy Bird...but with Bert from Sesame Street. Seriously, if you try nothing else, try this. You will laugh out loud the first time you crash.
Weavesilk: Online interactive art studio for doodling.