Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Arm Wrap Brain Break

If you can get your students up and active every 25 minutes it will help their focus and concentration. Brain Breaks are refreshing. This brain break is very spacial. Students will be amazed that they have trouble connecting their fingers together.

    1. Stand Up.
    2. Put your left arm straight down at your side.
    3. Tuck that arm behind your back so that it is resting on your lower back. It should be bent at a 90 degree angle.
    4. Follow these instructions while closing your eyes.
    A. Take your ring finger and try to touch your pinkie.
    B. Take your middle finger and touch your thumb.
    C. Take your pinkie finger and touch your index finger.
    5. Now put your right arm behind your back and follow A, B, C.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Slap Count + Say 21 and Win Brain Break

One of "BRAIN BREAKS" readers sent in a great suggestion as a comment. Greg Farmer - Traverse City Central High suggested that we combine "Say 21 and win" and "Slap Count". What a great idea! I tried it yesterday and it was terrific. The students loved the competition feature and it got them to cross the midline as well.

Here are the rules.

1. Stand up and find a partner. Decide who is A and who is B.
2. The goal is to be the person to say the number 21 while slap counting. Slap counting is when you have your hands out and palms up and the one who says a number crosses over and slaps the other persons hand.
3. You will alternately say and slap count consecutive numbers starting at one until someone says 21. However, at your turn you have your choice of saying only one number or two numbers at a time.
4. For example, if person A just finished their turn and said “7”, then person B could either say just “8” or “8” then “9”.
5. Person A will start counting at “1”.

See the video.

Thanks Greg Farmer for a great suggestion. I love it.

Inch Worm Brain Break

We should try to get a brain break in every 25 minutes in our classes. Brain Breaks give students a chance to take a break from the regular routine. This is a brain break that I learned while doing physical therapy on my knee.

1. Stand up.
2. Bend down and touch the ground with your hands. Bend your knees if you need to.
3. Start inching your hands out in front of you. Your feet remain in place. You will be moving your hands farther and farther out in front of you. More and more weight will be on your hands.
4. Once you have extended yourself as far as you can go, keep your hands still and start inching your legs forward until they meet your hands again. Try to keep your knees straight.
5. Repeat.

See the inchworm video.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Twisted" Brain Break

This Brain Break will get you twisted up, but will re-engergize you.

1. Stand up.
2. Put your hand out in front of you and clap and miss.
3. Put your thumbs down and then put your hands together.
1. Pull your hands inward rolling them towards you until your hands are on top and your elbows are near your side.
4. Roll your shoulders to stretch your back and neck.
5. Put your right leg over your left.
6. Roll your neck clockwise. (be careful not to fall)
7. Now switch your legs and put your left leg over your right.
8. Roll your neck counter-clockwise.
9. Spell your first name backwards.
10. Say your last name backwards.

See video for the demonstration.

Thanks to Rob Porter for this idea.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"FIVE" Brain Break

Kinesthetic Brain Breaks are something you should try to do every 25 minutes in your classes. In this Brain Break you will work with a partner. In this activity, partners will display the correct number of fingers so that both add to FIVE.

1. Stand up and find a partner. Decide who is A and who is B.
2. Face your partner.
3. Person A will put their arm out in one of the 12 clock positions. For instance, they could put their arm up directly in the air like 12 o’clock. Once their arm is out, they display a number zero to five with their fingers and thumb.
4. Now person B will put their arm out in the opposite direction as person A’s. For instance, since A was up at 12 o’clock, then person B puts their arm out straight down in the 6 o’clock position. Once their arm is out, they display the number of fingers to add to FIVE.
5. Once Person A has led for a while, switch and have person B lead.

Try to have students put their arms out in all different directions like the hands of a clock. They should also use different numbers zero to five and use either arm. Students should do this activity as quickly as possible.

Extension: Have student A hold out both hands in various dirctions. Now student B will have to put both hands out at opposite directions with fingers finishing "FIVE" on both hands.

See Video for a demonstration.