Brain Breaks

  • Situation

    We have many double periods of math throughout the week. It makes it very difficult for some of my students to continue attending. What can I do to help them (and me) get through these times?

  • Summary

    Brain breaks help a student take a break, and re-energize the brain to begin focusing again. Many students can focus for a length of time that equals their age plus two minutes. These breaks can take a maximum of 2 minutes and suffice to help a student refocus. Typically the break is something physical that can be done right at their desk. There are many resources for Brain Breaks.

  • Definition

    Brain breaks are mental breaks designed to help students stay focused and attend. The brain breaks get students moving to carry blood and oxygen to the brain. The breaks energize or relax. The breaks provide processing time for students to solidify their learning (Jensen) (adapted from Alison Newman)

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 6-10, 11-13, 14-17, 18+
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    Ability to follow a model and or directions.

  • Process

    1. Create a list of brain breaks you will utilize throughout the day. Use commercial books, internet resources, or devise your own. Consider having students help create brain breaks for the class.

    2. Based on the age of your students, decide how often you will provide brain breaks keeping in mind many students attend their age plus 2 minutes. So a 6 year old might be able to demonstrate sustained attention for 8 minutes.

    3. Begin providing Brain Breaks throughout your instruction.

  • Documents and Related Resources




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