Why Brain Breaks Benefit All

Association of Educators
January 16, 2014 — 1,027 views  

Brain breaks are nothing but physical activity that helps teachers to increase the concentration of their pupils in the classroom. These exercises include several different skill sets such as psychomotor skills, psychosocial activities, cognitive responses and fitness exercises. The program was initially developed by students from the Albion College at Concordia University along with the University of Michigan to help include more physical activities in an elementary classroom.

Why Brain Breaks?

Physical activity in between lessons can help children focus better in the classroom and also enhance their memory. Using physical movements in between lessons improves the flow of blood into the brain and provides the brain with more oxygen leading to improved concentration. Teachers use these activities mostly to energize a group of young students after lunch or to calm the students before a test or even at the end of the day.

Brain breaks, when planned and executed properly, can help children to develop a more flexible span of concentration along with improved coordination and enhanced focus to get ready for the next lesson. The main idea behind brain breaks is to use some moderately intense activities to increase the flow of blood to the brain. As a result, it is not very important to concentrate on skill or form during these short rounds of exercise. You can use plenty of simple exercises and also incorporate some of these into the lesson so you won't be wasting a lot of your instruction time.

Different Forms of Brain Break Exercises

There are many different forms of exercises and activities that can be used as brain breaks that not only target the mental health of the students but also the physical health. Some activities can be carefully incorporated into the entire school day to enhance the overall physical as well as mental health of the students in calculated 10 minute recess breaks that include a specific type of activity. You can also use some classroom-based activities revolving around the academic concepts that can help you teach while also giving the kids the necessary physical activity.

Conducting Brain Breaks

Finally, you will also need to make sure that each of these brain break activities are performed under supervision to make sure that children exercise properly and the speed of movement is accurately monitored. The number of repetitions must also be taken into account, especially in the case of children with mobility issues. You should also make efforts to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities and choose activities that help all students while also keeping them interested in the activity and also provide enough exercise to increase their blood flow. It is always important to not let any physical limitations stop any student from performing these activities.

The best way to perhaps implement this program effectively would be to take help from the PE teachers as they are fully equipped to provide with effective modifications and suggestions that make sure that all students participate in the program.  This can have a positive impact on their health; while not being able to participate can not only reduce the concentration but also lead to the child feeling left out, a case that should be avoided at any cost.

Association of Educators