Brain Breaks

Have you been trying to figure out how to work brain breaks into your classroom?  If you have, then I'm going to try to help you out here.  I love brain breaks and since we are required to do 30 hours of PE/Health on our own in my county, it really pays off for us to do them daily.  So, here are some ideas on how to make it work for you.

 First of all, in case you aren't sure of why you do brain breaks, there's actually a purpose behind them.  Most kids have an attention span that matches their ages.  For example, if you are teaching six and seven year olds, then once you get past eight or nine minutes, they really start to struggle with listening.  Well, if they aren't listening then you aren't teaching.  Plus, you start to deal with behaviors at that point.  Brain breaks help break up your day into smaller portions.  Now, I know you are thinking there aren't enough minutes in a day, but if you are spending five minutes a lesson trying to get everyone's attention then isn't that eating up more of your day?  Brain breaks are meant to be used to let your kids get a little movement in so that they will focus better.

In my classroom, we usually use brain breaks as a reward or as part of our recess if it's rainy or cold.  I tell my kids that when we get a lesson done that we will have one as long as they complete the lesson.  To keep me from skipping over them, I write brain breaks into my lesson plan book.  I try my best to get four in a day.  We usually do two brain breaks in the morning and two in the afternoon.  Most brain breaks are only a few minutes long, so it's pretty easy to get them in right before you transition to something else.  Unless it's recess, I usually only do one at a time and typically it is anywhere from two to four minutes.

Definitely make sure your students understand your brain break rules before you start.  I only have a few rules - everyone participates and no being silly or playing during brain breaks.  That's it.  My kids know if I see them being unnecessarily silly then they will sit for the remainder of that brain break.

So, I'm sure now you are wondering where you can find brain breaks.  I really have two favorites.  I like to use the Learning Station brain breaks and GoNoodle brain breaks.  I also on occasion grab a few off of YouTube.

With the Learning Station brain breaks, I have DVDs, so this helps if the Internet is running slowly.  They are also cute and silly.

GoNoodle is a new favorite for me.  A lot of my kids went home last year and set accounts up at home after we used them in our classroom.  They love getting to grow their monsters and all the songs are recent songs.  The goofy made up brain breaks are fun and silly.  My favorite part is it tracks your minutes, so at the end of the year when you need to see your extra PE/health minutes it isn't a problem.

So what are my favorites?  Below are my Top 10 favorites with links.  I've also included a few of the videos.  (Note: Some have commercials since they are from YouTube)

Learning Station:
1. Boom Chicka Boom
2. Baby Shark
3. Wishy Washy Washer Woman
4. Fred the Moose
5. Go Bananas

1. Pop-See-Ko
2. Indoor Recess 6
3. Zumba - Happy
4. Zumba - All Star
5. Roller Coaster


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