Quick brain breaks - ProTeacher Community


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Quick brain breaks
Old 09-22-2006, 07:41 AM
 
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Help I need some good ideas for quick brain breaks. My class is having a terrible time paying attention. We give our state tests the first week of October, so we have had thrust upon us review for the test and it is boring. My kids are having such a hard time. I do stretches and bathroom breaks, and of course snack breaks (another issue for me), but I need some better ideas to give the kids a quick break.


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Old 09-22-2006, 10:16 AM
 
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A couple of things I've used during testing:

Sing "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" with the class. Every time they hear a "b" they change position: if they are sitting, they stand, and vice versa. It's fun when you get to the "bring back, bring back, oh bring back my Bonnie to me" part and their heads are bobbing like buoys in the ocean! We then try to do it faster and faster. I haven't used "Looby Loo" or things like that, but they'd probably work, too.

Play "Simon Says" but use stretching/exercise things. For example, tell them to try to touch the ceiling without having their feet leave the ground. Or have them try to touch both of the opposite walls of the classroom at the same time. I also use jumping jacks, hopping, etc. but I don't worry too much about who gets "out"--the purpose is to get them moving and oxygenated and ready for the next sub test.

Are you in Michigan, by any chance? We're practicing this week, too, for our MEAP tests in October. We can't do any official practicing two weeks before the test, so today is "it" for us. The poor kids--two weeks "off" and then we start with this again. Wonder when we're going to have time to teach the curriculum?
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:31 AM
 
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Kagan Publishing has great ideas for brain breaks. What's This Got To Do With Anything and Silly Sports and Goofy Games are my favorite. They are divided into getting aquainted, classbuilding, teambuilding, forming groups and energizer activities. They're all quick and easy with little to no prep. They can also be adapted for different needs. Also try movement to music. Greg and Steve's Freeze Dance is still a fav. There's a dance mix out of Follow the Leader another teacher uses. He also had an intern make up "exercise" routines to current pop songs that the kids LOVED! It was mostly yoga type stretching, moving in place or "conga line" so it wasn't a free-for-all. Once the music is off, it's back to your seat. Kagan also has some great ideas for cooperative learning structures that make teaching and reviewing more enjoyable. Have fun!
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:04 PM
 
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Yes I'm in Michigan. We did the first 10 days with a MEAP prototype. Then we just got something called the Second 10 days. It contains lessons that are skills they'll need for the test, but doesn't mention taking a test etc, so we can do it right up to the test. Cute idea about the song.
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Here are a few ideas
Old 09-30-2006, 02:45 PM
 
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I have brain breaks everyday (about 3 a day). Each game I play for about 2 minutes to 10 minutes depending on the time of day. Something to keep in mind is that having the students have state changes is almost as good as playing a game. So, make sure that the kiddos are not seating at their desk for any length of time or you will lose them. Have them move from the carpet to their desks to another person's desk, etc. throughout the day.

Here are some quick games to play:
  • Keep It Up- Have the kids toss around a beach ball trying to not let it hit the ground.
  • Class Volleyball- Same type of game as above but have the kids pass the ball back and forth from one side of the room to another.
  • Plates- Have kids all put a paper plate on their head. Have them move about the room. If their plate falls, they are frozen and someone else has to bend down without having their plate fall off their head and put it on a classmates head. The object is to keep everyone in the game.
  • Simon Says- I am sure you know how this one works.
  • Heads Up & Up- 7 kids are up in front of the classroom and all others have their heads on their desks with their thumbs up. Each of the 7 tap one person and they put their thumb down. Once all students choose one person, you say "heads up- 7 up" Those 7 stand and try to figure out who picked them.
  • Telephone- All students sit in a circle and one person whispers a message in another's ear. It gets passed around until the last person hears it and shares out.
  • Relay Races- You could do all sorts of things with this.
  • Cross Lateral Moves- Have the kids move by doing cross lateral things such as touching the left shoulder or knee with the right hand, etc.
  • Dance- Play music and have the kids dance

    Those are just a few. Let me know if you would like more.



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Old 09-30-2006, 02:54 PM
 
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I would love more ideas!

My kids are at school for 7 hours and they only get a 15 minute break in the morning and 40 minutes for lunch. And at lunch, no one goes out to play until all have finished eating (school rule), so they end up with only 10-15 minutes of play time.

Our schedule is TIGHT so 2-3 minute breaks are all we can spare!
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More 'brain break' ideas on these pages
Old 09-30-2006, 03:27 PM
 
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Brain Breaks at Bovey Tracey
"The core purpose of Brain Breaks is to keep the pupils in your class in the most receptive state for learning. Exercise increases oxygen supply to the brain, releases stress and can re-gain the attention of learners. Brain breaks engage different neural circuitry in the learning process."
http://www.devon.gov.uk/dcs/improve/teach/bovey/

Dr. Jean's Brain Breaks
"The good news is that they'll be exercising their brains as they release stress and learn! Hint! Write these ideas on a language experience chart or on sentence strips for your pocket chart. Engage children in choosing activities and leading classmates in these songs and games."
http://www.drjean.org/html/monthly_a.../10_2003a.html

Mrs. Powell's Brain Breaks
"The concept is based upon brain research proving what teachers have always known: young students have attention spans of only a few minutes and therefore need to have frequent physical stimulation and exercise as a break."
http://mspowell.00freehost.com/other...ainbreaks.html

Alite: Brain Breaks-7 Examples
"Brain Breaks are simple exercises designed to equip the teacher with tools to manage the physiology and attention of the class. Research shows that structured physical movement can enhance our readiness for learning."
http://www.alite.co.uk/information/brain_breaks.htm
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Thanks so much
Old 11-17-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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Hi. Thanks I will use this and I need some ideas for 1 minute. Please and thank you.
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Brain Break Ideas
Old 11-19-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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I have an idea. Get a piece of chalk. Let them toss it around the room. If it breaks because somebody will not catch it they have to clean it up. It sounds lame but it really is fun. Or take dance moves that are school approite and teach it let them dance and its over and trust me they will want to play it again.
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