GIVE ME A BREAK – BRAIN BREAK!
There’s excitement in the air and the children are full of wiggles! These brain breaks will help your students focus and learn as you move and smile. You’ll find three new videos and song downloads for “Seven Days of Boot Camp,” “Morning Stretch,” and “Tony Chestnut.” Watch the video to learn the movements, use the song for an “exercise snack,” and then use the arrangements to make up your own lyrics and movements. Let’s get moving!!
“Neurobics” is a term I discovered recently on the Internet. It refers to brain exercises or activities that can improve students’ learning. And, the more we know about the brain, the more effective we can be as educators. Research repeatedly emphasizes the value of exercise in boosting brain power. I encourage you to do your own research on the internet to learn more about music, movement, and learning. It’s fascinating and validating! (You’ll also find a list of my favorite brain books at the end of this article.)
You can’t get inside your students’ heads and shake up their brains, but these activities can help make your students’ brains more alert and can help improve learning. According to research, children (and adults) need to “stand up and stretch” every 20 minutes. Vigorous exercise sends blood to the brain and can reduce stress. You can use these activities to start your day, between lessons, or whenever your students appear bored or restless. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try them before, during, or after testing! They are simple, free, and might even create some smiles! Play some cool music and your students won’t be able to resist moving to the beat.
Try out one activity at a time and see how your class responds. Write those they like on a poster or put them on index cards and store them in a “brain break” bag. After several weeks, children can choose their favorite exercises and lead the class.
In addition to the ideas you’ll find on my website, the North Carolina Department of Education has a book of “energizers” that connect movement with learning. Go to ncpe4me.com/energizers to download your free copy. The state of Michigan has some terrific ideas for reinforcing skills to get children to move: emc.cmich.edu/brainbreaks/.
Two other great websites are wholebrainteaching.com and braingym.com.
Click below to download free songs and videos:
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