Saturday, January 12, 2013

Brain Breaks

Transitioning from phonics to vocabulary can be hard with little ones. They get restless super quick. Brain Breaks are great to use anytime they (and you) may need a little more energy. Getting moving and grooving gets the heart pumped so they can pay attention and remember everything you're teaching. A brain break takes less than 3 minutes. Research tells us that children need physical activities to get motivated and retain lessons learned.

In my classroom I have a Symbaloo for brain breaks. I just click and presto I have an instant choice of songs for high energy movement.
  1. Mirror. Simply teach the students to mirror your movements. Jumping jacks, hopping, tricep dips using their chair, squats.
  2. 5-4-3-2-1  Have students stand behind their pushed-in chairs. Call out a trait and everyone who has that trait must change places with someone else (students who do not have the trait stay where they are). Examples: "Everyone with curly hair." "Everyone who ate cereal for breakfast." Everyone who is wearing stripes." 
  3. Mingle, Mingle, Group! In this game students move about the classroom saying, "mingle, mingle, mingle" in soft voices until the teacher says "Groups of 3," at which point the students must quickly group themselves into groups with the correct number of people. Students who are left over can do an exercise such as push ups, sit ups, or jumping jacks. This is a great tool to teach multiplication and division.
  4. Get Up and Dance! I use Symbaloo for this. Put on some music and dance. Chicken dance, Cha Cha Slide, Tooty ta, Peanut Butter Jelly, Shake Your Sillies Out, Ice Cream and Cake, etc.
  5. Freeze Dance!  When the music stops so do the kids. Simple and fun! When the music stops the students must freeze and hold the position they are in until the music begins again.

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