Everyone needs brain breaks throughout their day to be at their most efficient and productive. We know from research that brain breaks reduce stress and increase retention of learning. What’s not to like about that?!
Taking brain breaks works with our students and for us as well. What did we ever do before GoNoodle?! But GoNoodle takes time, something that we don’t always have a lot of.
There are those days (ok, a lot of days) we only have a minute or two for a much needed brain break in the midst of a busy day. Sound familiar? Then there are days we simply don’t have an extra second, much less minutes. Here’s how squeeze those brain breaks in on the fly.
Play Simon Says as fast as you can talk without anyone ever “getting out”. Stop briefly when you get kids to mess up and say “Gotcha”. Then, keep going.
These first two are best used for waiting times, getting ready to leave the room (students can join in as soon as they are ready) and quick breaks in-between subjects.
Each of these has a best use. Some can be used anytime and others can be used in-between subjects, walking in halls or as a rotation. Consider incorporating a pattern and/or crossing the midline into these activities.
Bubble Mouth + Fish Fins
Put a large bubble of air in your mouth an hold it. Breathe out of your nose. Pull your elbows tight into your sides and “swim” forward. It’s impossible to talk in the hallway if you are have a bubble of air in your mouth and are breathing out of your nose. “Pop” or release the bubble when you arrive at your destination.
Pat Your Head, Rub Your Tummy
Tippy Toe + T-Rex
Tippy toe for a few steps and then go flat foot and T-Rex arms for a few steps, repeat. Create a pattern for the day or a different one for each time you walk in the hallway.
Walk tall, walk low. Make a pattern.
Window Washer (Wash the imaginary window with big and little strokes. Go high, go low, side to side… Cross the midline as much as you can.)
Stork, Blind Stork or Tricky Stork
Stork- stand on one leg for as long as you can, then switch legs. Blind Stork- Same as Stork with eyes closed, Tricky Stork- Same as Stork but touching one pointer finger to nose, shoulder, elbow, knee. Then, switch hands.
Walk the 8 or Balancing Act
Use painters mask to create an 8 or several) on the floor. Students walk the eight several times, balancing on the tape lines as they go. This is the ultimate crossover for the brain. Variation: Tape lines like balance beams on the floor.
Clasp your hands in front of your chest with elbows straight out to the sides. Keep them clasped as you try to pull them apart and push them together several times.
Crossovers (forward and back)
Tap elbow to opposite knee, back and forth between knees. Tap hand to the opposite foot behind you. Switch back and forth between front and back crossovers.
Every teacher wants their students to become committed readers. Here's a simple "how to" cheat sheet you can provide to help PARENTS support their kids in their reading journey. I call it the Sneaky Parent's Guide to Growing Readers because it's filled with loving, savvy tips to make reading feel fun and desirable.