Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Give them a BRAKE ... or is it ...Give them a Break!

Have you ever seen this sign in the road?  GIVE EM A BRAKE.  Every time I see it I think of the fact that we as teachers need to give our students a break.  We teachers often feel like we can't afford to give our students a break.  WE NEED TO GET THROUGH THE MATERIAL.  How many times have you said this?  As a student my brain has never picked up things in long drawn out segments.  My brain picks things up in bursts.  That is why I think it is so important to give our students a break when we are teaching longer segments..  If our activity does not give a break within itself, we should create a break for our students.  It should be a short break.  Probably 1-2 minutes at most.  This creates a refreshing outlook once the break is done.  The break should include standing up and some time of movement and stimulating brain activity.  I have been giving Energizing Brain Breaks in my class for a number of years now.  I believe that it gives students a break in the midst of concentrating intently which will help boost their efficiency.  Not only this, but it will also give them something to look forward to everyday as well as help them to laugh and smile in class.  Have you ever heard the expression "one step back and two steps forward"?  Well, brain breaks are exactly that.  It feels like you are not making progress in your class by giving them a break.  But really, you are helping them to move FORWARD faster, because they are refreshed and energized. 
So you are wondering what exactly is a brain break?  There are many examples in this blog that you can go to.  I will list a few that are fun to see.
Thumb and Pinkie Energizing Brain Break
Elbow to Knee Energizing Brain Break
Hand Shake Number 1 Partner Brain Break


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