Brain Breaks

brain-1845962_1920The research has been clear for some time: Our students (and ourselves as well) need brain breaks in order to learn and produce at peak efficiency. For those of you not familiar with the research or the process, this article from Edutopia provides a great primer about the neuroscience behind brain breaks, as well as practical ideas.

I was reminded of the importance of brain breaks this morning when I saw the following tweet:

NOTE: Be sure to watch the video!

For you elementary educators, how easy would it be to set up something similar in your building! Thinking back to my elementary teaching days, I can absolutely see how I should have been doing something similar for a sub-set of my students. And even as I now teach in a high school, I can see the value of this setup.

This year I have been far more intentional about brain breaks, insisting upon them most days every 25 minutes or so. With my Lights Academy  classes at Lutheran High School, where project-based learning is employed, we are intentional about taking at minimum one five-minute and one ten-minute brain break during our long block time together. Anecdotally, the work time has been more focused and productive, which really is not a surprise based on the research.

What are some ways you include brain breaks? How often are they built into your lesson planning? Are there specific brain break activities that work well for your students? Feel free to respond with a comment to the post with answers to these questions, building upon each other’s ideas. Let’s make brain breaks the norm rather than the exception for the sake of our students.


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