Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Brain Breaks

Everyday we do a few brain breaks in class.  Brain breaks are easy, short movements that help children and adults re-activate their brains so they can think, learn, re-focus, do, work, etc.

My teaching philosophy - if your bottom is asleep, your brain is too.  Therefore, you need to get up and move - even if it's only for a few seconds or minutes. 

The Brain Break Popsicle Sticks I created with colored Popsicle Sticks and a label maker are a combination of yoga poses, breathing techniques, Brain Gym exercises, and sensory activities. The sticks are all color coded. For instance:

Blue = breathing exercises 
Green = exercises you can do at your seat 
Orange = balancing poses 
Purple = Tighten and release your muscles 
Yellow = Crossing the midline of the body 
Red = Active movements 

When I notice the class could benefit from a Brain Break or two, I stop what we are doing and have a student pick a stick.  I may ask the student to pick a particular color (like if they need to move - I will suggest a red stick), or I may let the student select a stick or two. 

We keep the sticks in a Rubbermaid bento storage box. It's the beginning of the year, so I am still teaching the students how to do the movements.  In order to remember which ones I have taught them, we place all the "new" sticks in one section of the bento box and the "taught" ones in another section. Once we have learned all the breaks, I am sure the Brain Break box won't be so organized. 

I highly recommend you incorporate Brain Breaks into your day - whether you are work with children, or not...

Stay Awake, Take a Brain Break. 

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