Brain Breaks

What are Brain Breaks?

Brain breaks are research based movements which allow more oxygen and energy to enter students’ brains. These breaks can:

  • improve alertness
  • cross the body’s midline
  • increase student motivation and focus
  • calm their nervous systems
  • lead to long-term recall
There is a growing number of knowledge base in the area of brain research and the implications for what we do in the classroom. The idea of a child growing up in a quiet, stable home in a neighborhood  safe to explore has evolved.  Now most children grow up in a multi media driven world, spending more time indoors. Brains have responded to this evolution by changing their functioning and organization to accommodate large amounts of stimulation. It is constantly scanning environment for stimuli.   Therefore, adolescent brains respond more than ever to novelty and movement such as brain breaks.


Why are Brain Breaks Important?

Our brain is a novelty seeker.  The 21st century learner is too. They have a desire to be creative and demonstrate critical thinking. Energizing brain breaks help engage  both sides of the brain.Movement is connected to cognitive learning.  Students need to be up and moving.  When we sit for more than 20 minutes, blood pools in our body– we need to get up, recirculate the blood back to brain. Kids think better on their feet than on their seat!   So, interspersing these movements/ brain breaks  can refocus attention so that students are ready to learn new material. Using these techiques in a purposeful manner will increase the opportunities for students to succeed.


How do I find out more?

 Spark:  The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain written by author John J. Ratey;photovideo

Brain Breaks- ideas shared by Lisa Mentzer

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