Brain Breaks: Fight the Fidgeting!

Thanks to Laura H. for this guest post!

As teachers, we know how important it is for students to have opportunities to get up and be active throughout the day. Whether your students are getting the “wiggles” out, meditating, doing deep breathing exercises, stretching, playing a game, or practicing a quick zumba routine, all brain breaks serve a similar purpose which is to re-energize and re-set so more learning can take place. Brain breaks can be relaxing, fun, or both! Brain breaks can be so useful and necessary for both the teachers and students alike. I’d like to share a few examples of brain breaks I have seen in classrooms that worked wonders in getting students re-focused and re-charged.

Brain Breaks with Technology Technology-Free Brain Breaks
GoNoodle! A free website where you can create an account and avatar for your class and watch your avatar grow up and change as you participate in brain break activities! The brain breaks range from incredibly silly songs and coordinate dances from Koo Koo Kanga Roo (essentially the modern-day Wiggles), Kidz Bop zumba routines, exercises in practicing compassion, yoga, and deep breathing exercises! The categories of brain breaks are guided dancing, free movement, stretching, sports and exercise, kinesthetic learning, coordination, and calming.

·  Just Dance YouTube videos. With any video from YouTube, you need to be careful with what advertisements might pop up but students love the guided dance moves to popular music. “What Does the Fox Say” and “Boom Boom Pow” were fan favorites in my kindergarten class last year!

·      Simon Says

·      Yoga

·      Deep breathing exercises paired with stretching

·      Jump skip counting (jump every time you count a number)

·      Freeze dance

·      Pattern clap (create clapping sequence, students copy you, pick a student to create a clapping sequence, all students copy him/her. Can be silent and very calming!)

·      Play switcheroo (while sitting on the rug, pull names from jar of popsicle sticks, the names that are called switch places on the rug, sing song while moving. With younger grades, incorporate decoding with reading the names & figuring out who needs to do the switcheroo. Can be helpful/re-energizing to switch spots temporarily!)

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