Saturday, August 18, 2012

BRAIN BREAKS!

A lot of experienced authors have written books about “brain breaks.”  Brain breaks are short reprieves from learning where students GET UP and have a little fun!  All students (and teachers) can benefit from incorporating brain breaks into their classroom.  However, some teachers just forget about all of the fun activities that will give students’ brains a break and help them refocus their energy and efforts. 
I found these cute, colorful craft sticks the other day.  I had no idea what I was going to use them for, but I knew I had to buy them!! 
Cute craft sticks from ReallyGoodStuff
Later, I realized they would be perfect for BRAIN BREAKS.  I decided to write a different activity on each stick and put them in a cute cup.  Then, it would be easy to have a student reach in and choose a “brain break” when the class deserved one!   Here is a list of my brain breaks and a short description of each.

1. Simon Says: It’s a classic and students love it!
2. Crab Walk around the Room: Put on a song and have students walk in the CRAB POSITION around the room.  At some point, have students go in reverse. 
3. Macarena: Teach students the hand movements for the old-school song!   You can find the song for free on YouTube.
4.  Ants Go Marching: Most kids know this children’s song.  Play the song and let the kids march around the room at different speeds...Slow-motion march, fast march, etc.
5. Cupid Shuffle: This dance isn’t just fun at weddings!  You can find the song and dance on YouTube.  It may take students a few tries to learn it, but you will inevitably have a natural dancer in the group that can help other students learn.
6. Doodle Time: Give students some blank paper and markers and let them DOODLE and talk for five minutes.  It sounds simple but students love to draw and doodle.
7. Dance Party: Turn on the radio and let students DANCE until the song ends.
8. Tic-Tac-Toe: Give students some blank paper to play tic-tac-toe with a friend.  It’s a simple game that won’t cause a mess or a distraction for your neighbors!  J
9. 50 Jumping Jacks: Get students’ heart rates up with this QUICK physical exercise. 
10. Bingo: Depending on time…the song OR the game!
11. Heads Up, 7-Up: Another classic that is easy and exciting for students!
12. Cha-Cha Slide: Find the lyrics and dance moves on YouTube!
13. Stretching: Choose a student to come up and lead a minute of stretching.  All of the kiddos know various stretches from gym class, and they will enjoy leading their peers!
14. Congo Line: Turn the radio on and form a Congo line to move around the room.
15. Push-Up/Sit-Up: Have students pick a partner and let them count out each other’s push-ups and sit-ups.  Another great physical exercise for kids that will provide a break from learning and strengthen their muscles at the same time!
16. Pantomime: Choose a student to act out an activity WITHOUT talking.  The class must mimic the leader and then guess what the activity is.  (Swimming, flying, sleeping, laughing, jogging, singing, etc.)
17. Mirror-Mirror: Have students pair up and mirror the actions of their partner.  Students will get a kick out of this activity!

18.  Little Bunny Foo Foo: Here's a link to a video if you don't remember the lyrics.  Have kiddos act out the nursery rhyme.  

19.  Thumb Wrestling: Have students choose a partner and participate in some old-fashioned thumb wrestling.  Be sure to establish your expectations before this little brain break.  

20.  Rock, Paper, Scissors:  Let kiddos partner up for five rounds of Rock, Paper, Scissors.  The winners get a high five from their partner.  :)

21.  Sky Writing: Have kiddos sky write their ABCs, sight words, spelling words, or a secret message to their friend.  

22.  Air Band:  Choose an "air" instrument and "rock out!"  Drums, guitar, and saxophone are my personal favorites.

23.  Silent Yoga:  Strike a yoga pose and see how long your students can hold that pose.  Google "Kid Yoga" for some easy examples. 
I’m hoping to add more Brain Breaks!  Do you have a great idea?  If so, leave a comment and let me know!  I’d love to add it to my collection! 
A special thanks to my reader, Madisson, for some of these fun, new suggestions!!
_________________________________________________________________________________
**A friend asked me to make printable Brain Break cards because she wanted to use them in her classroom right away and didn't have time to order the craft sticks seen above.  I created them in black and white and simply printed on BRIGHT colored paper!  I think they turned out super cute!**

You can download all 40 printable brain break cards HERE!!
 Store them on a metal ring or in a pencil box!  Easy to store & doesn't take up much space.
Easy on the printer but still super cute.  See some examples...
There are 40 brain breaks total...Some classics and some total original ones!  
I've provided you with an explanation for each.  :)
Hope you and your students have a blast with these Brain Breaks!

31 comments:

MLee said...

Love it! Thanks for the ideas!

Karen Cedrone said...

Thanks for sharing this great idea! Very clever!

Azize Besik said...

Love it.

Neesa said...

Thanks! I love your ideas!

Mary said...

Great idea. Personally, I would use all the same colour or pattern sticks. Kids may figure out what activity would be on what coloured stick and avoid/always pick that one. I have had teachers who would use popsicle sticks for choosing students (each stick had a students' name on it) and to avoid people only picking their friends, they would make sure they were all the same colour.

Keisha Gosa said...

I absolutely love this idea! ..thanks

Becky said...

These ideas are awesome!! The sticks are super cute and the Brain Break ideas are fabulous! I needed some fresh ones, so I am glad I found your blog.

Becky
Compassionate Teacher

Brooke Eagerton said...

I love your brain break ideas. I am going to have to order those cute sticks. I agree with Becky. I am so glad I found your blog.
Brooke
Tales from a Fourth Grade MathNut

Madisson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Connie Gleeson said...

It was my understanding the brain breaks activate the brain to through motion, the influx of oxygen and circulation of fluids and release of stress. Brain breaks prepare and sustain children's learning. It's something teachers need to intentionally plan for every day at regular intervals, not hold out until students are deserving.

lizC said...

Hi Connie,

You make a great point. Teachers should intentionally plan for brain breaks, as well as have some on hand for when kiddos really need them! "Deserve" was probably not the right word to use in my blog post. Thanks for your input! :)

-TheHappyTeacher

Rach said...

Thank you for this great idea. I have lots of brain breaks during my day doing a variety of things, but trialled this today with great success!

eman alshazly said...

شركة تخزين عفش بالرياض
شركة ترميمات بالرياض
شركة دهانات بالرياض
شركات تنظيف المنازل بجدة
شركة كشف تسربات المياة بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات في جدة
تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة نقل عفش جدة
تنظيف منازل بجدة
شركة عزل بالرياض
شركة عزل اسطح بالرياض
شركة عزل خزانات بالرياض
 عملية تصغير المعدة
عملية تكميم المعدة
عمليات تدبيس المعدة

eman alshazly said...

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض
شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض
مكافحة حشرات الفراش
شركة عزل خزانات بالرياض
شركة تخزين عفش بالرياض
شركة تنظيف بيارات بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تنظيف منازل بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تنظيف فلل بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تنظيف مسابح بجدة
شركة تنظيف موكيت بجدة
شركة تنظيف شقق بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركات تنظيف المنازل بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام
شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض
شركة العميري كشف تسربات بالرياض
تنظيف فلل بالرياض

eman alshazly said...

شركة تسليك وعزل بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالاحساء
شركة عزل اسطح وخزانات بمكة
افضل شركات تنظيف وتخزين بالرياض
اشهر شركات تنظيف وتخزين بالرياض
شركات تنظيف وتخزين
شركات تنظيف وتخزين بالرياض

Mylittle Genius said...

Fantastic. The blog post is really wonderful and I would like to read more.

Baby Brain Development | Child Development School

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Unknown said...

thanku for the ideas..Looking forward to use them in my classroom

Lauren said...

My kids love to play 'Silent Ball' for our brain breaks. All you need is a Koosh ball and to have students stand at their desks. They have to constantly be paying attention because they can't call on someone that they are throwing the ball to. If the ball is thrown to them and they aren't paying attention, they have to sit out. The kids love it!
Lauren
http://theteachingnest.blogspot.com/

debbie vance said...

Great ideas! Brain breaks are really needed with my middle schoolers and help PREVENT discipline problems. I establish the expectations during the first week of school and rarely have problems getting back on task!

Sadia said...

Thanks so much for providing these!

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