Monday, November 17, 2008

Finger Aerobics Brain Break

This is a great Brain Break for your students.
It gets their brain working fast. It is a break they can do on their own. It is also very challenging.
It's called Finger Aerobics
Here it is:
Stand up
Lift both hands with four fingers up on each hand.
Move the pointer on one hand and the pinkie on the other.
Now move the tall finger on one hand and the ring finger on the other.
Next move the ring finger on one hand and the tall finger on the other.
Now move the pinkie on hand and the pointer on the other.
Keep doing this over and over to make a rippling effect.
This forces both sides of your brain to work together.
Try this for 30-40 seconds.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Say 21 and Win Brain Break

This idea was sent in by Sue McKay.
I have used it in my class and it worked great. My students were leaving the class saying "I have to play this at lunch"

“Say 21 and WIN”
Here are the rules…
The object is to say 21 and win.
You have the option when it is your turn to say the next consecutive number or two.
For example…. I go first
I say 1
You can say 2 or 2…3. You say 2.
Then I can say 3 or 3…4. I say 3 ... 4 and so on until someone says 21 and wins.
If I start with 1…2.
You can say 3 or 3…4
And so on. The person who says 21 wins. For a change, make the person who says 21 the loser.
There is a strategy and some kids get it right away.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Wave Brain Break

This activity is just what you think it is. It is creating a wave of some sort through your class.
Designate a person to be the leader.
Have a student stand up and take both hands from one side of their body, over their head to the other side of their body to create the "Wave".
This is one part of the wave. Each student will continue to do this until all have "Waved"
The leader must make sure everyone knows the order.
The leader should start the "Wave" as well as direct it.
Tell the class that they will need to work together to pass your (the teacher's) satisfaction.

It works on all the elements that we like in a Brain Break:
Crossing the mid-line, standing up, teamwork, and of course movement.

Happy Brain Breaks!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Get Rid of Extra Energy IN CLASS!

Do your students every get restless in class? Mine certainly do. Our PE department had a suggestion to put a Bouncy Ball in the classroom to act as a chair for a student. It an excellent suggestion. I tried it and it worked great. The first day, I had students sign up for the use of the Bouncy Ball. I had maybe 25% of my class sign up. After they all had a chance to try it, I had maybe 10% of the class that wanted to continue to use it in class. So then I had about three students that rotated using it. What is best is that the students who are always up and active in the class are the ones who like it. The drawbacks are that they lose air and sometimes pop, which is what happened to me. I'm still trying to get my new bouncy ball for this year.

They do make bouncy ball chairs. This would be a smaller bouncy ball embedded into actual chair. Click here to go to the site.
Also, I received a suggestion this week from a blog reader Sue McGraw to put a small trampoline in the class. This would be an excellent release of energy for a student. Make sure you have high ceilings. Click here for the website.
Happy Brain Breaks

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Paper Twirling Brain Break

You should be taking a brain break every 25 minutes.
This will help you focus and concentrate.
Take the paper with your palm up in one hand.
Twirl it around your back and catch (don't grab) it with the other.
Twirl (go around and around) as fast as you can.
Switch directions.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Slap Count Brain Break

Slap Count

Face each other with your palms up.

Person A should take their right hand and cross over and hit person B’s right hand and say 1

Then person A should take their left hand and cross over and hit person B’s left hand and say 2

Person B does the same except says 3 and 4.

This repeats until you reach 30.


Go up by 3’s 5’s, or any number.

Start at a number and go down by another number (like start at 34 and go down by 3’s)

Start at one and double each number

Each person spells their own name or any other vocabulary from class

Make a pattern like the left hand always adds 2 and the right hand always adds 3

Each person spells a word. Both try to figure out the other person’s word.

Thanks to Jean Blaydes Madigan for this idea

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hook Ups Brain Break

One person should
Clap and miss
Thumbs down
Hands together
Scoop the ice cream (like pictured)

The other person should
Point out a finger or thumb for the other person to move (don't touch the finger)
Try pointing to a few fingers before switching roles

This Brain Break crosses the mid-line of your body and helps both sides of your brain work together.

Thanks to Jean Blaydes Madigan for this idea.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rocks, Paper, Scissors, MATH

Brain Break: Rocks, Paper, Scissors, Math
•You can only use the numbers 1,2,3 or 4
•You can’t use your thumb as a number
•You must hold your hand flat
•The first person to add the numbers together wins that round.
•Have students play the best of 5 rounds.

•Variations are that one person is negative, both are negative, or multiply the numbers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Passing out Papers will Never be the Same

Teachers STOP passing out papers. Instead, lets have our students pass out papers. Actually, have our students throw out the papers into the air to the rest of the class. Pick a student at random, and have him/her throw the papers into the air (not at other students) and all of the papers go everywhere. Most students will quickly get up and go over and get their paper. If it is a worksheet, they just have to go over and pick up one. Some students will want to ask other students to get their paper. Try and encourage all to get out of their seats. It promotes a good movement brain break.
**For tests and quizzes, I still encourage teachers to pass out these.
Dave Sladkey

Thanks to Pat Quinn for this idea