|Brain breaks will help kids recharge and refocus!|
I was chatting with a good friend (and colleague) of mine about the things we want to try next year. One idea of hers was to periodically give her students a "brain break" throughout class time when she sees they are dragging, or if they have been working diligently for extended periods of time and just need a quick breather. I think this is a great idea for all children, but I also know it will greatly benefit those with attention disorders such as ADD or ADHD. Not only will it let them get rid of some of their energy that they struggle with during lessons and work time, but it will also give their brains a mini-vacation from school (which we all know they desperately need from time to time).
It might also be a good tool for classroom management. If one were to come up with enough break ideas, they could be written down and placed in a jar. Perhaps a student who stands out as doing an excellent job could pick the next break from the jar and lead it. Or, perhaps they could just name a favorite. With the idea of taking several a day, it's a great way to recognize more than one student as well as provide them with something that isn't gimmicky (like candy, prize box items, etc.). ]
Here are some break ideas we talked about so far:
- Yoga- do a quick pose or two to help students refocus
- 1 or 2 minute dance party- throw on some kid friendly music and jam
- Silent ball- spend a few minutes playing a quick game where students sit on desks and pass a foam ball around the room. As the name suggests, students don't talk during this game or they are out.
- Doodle- Kids love to draw, so let them! Give them 5 minutes to whip out some paper and doodle like crazy.
- Simon Says- Play simon says and practice those listening skills! Even though they won't admit it, I am pretty sure the older ones will enjoy this.
- Play a game on the white board- not sure what games could incorporate the entire class, but I am sure we'll come up with a few.
That's all we thought of so far. It's a good start, but I would like a lot of ideas to choose from to keep it interesting.
Please share any ideas you have, and I will compile them into a list and share it with you at the end of the summer for you to try in your classrooms. If you know anyone who is a creative thinker, or already uses this strategy in their room, please pass along a link to this post...I would love to hear form as many people as possible!