Breaks Help the Brain!

Take a minute and think about what we ask of our students on any given day.  As teachers we want to make the most of the precious time we have them and we do our very best to make every last second filled with learning opportunities.  Now think about that from the perspective of a non-teacher adult.  When an adult goes to work they are not asked to focus 100% and make every second of the time on their job a productive one.  In fact, coffee breaks, water cooler breaks, or even chats over the cubbie wall are all common place occurrences in an office.  Why?  I believe it is because our brain needs periodic breaks in order to continue working optimally.  So why not do this in the classroom too?

If you do not have brain breaks built into your classroom routine I encourage you to give a try.  When I first started brain breaks a few years ago I was amazed at the difference they made in the focus ability and work performance of my students.  Brain breaks can be anything from a stretching or exercise activity to a silly dance.  OK - I know what you are thinking; "Now you want me to plan brain breaks too?  I've got enough to do already!"  So today I am going to share with you one of the most amazing websites around that is filled with brain breaks.  All you have to do is click and break!

GoNoodle is one of my favorite classroom websites! In fact it is on my favorites bar on my teacher computer.  When it is time for a brain break, or when I see the glazed over look in the eyes of my students, I go to GoNoodle.  I choose an activity and we give our brains a break.  These activities are short, just a couple minutes long, but the effect on the brain is amazing!

We are doing the Dinosaur Stomp!
I assign "spread out spots" to help with crowd control
and to eliminate the need to decide who to stand next to. 
After we finish a fun and usually silly song, we head back to the carpet for a deep breathing exercise. My favorite is Air Time or Air Time Space, but there are many to choose from.  The deep breathing exercise helps to calm the body and refocus the brain.  It is an amazing thing to watch 22 kindergarten kiddos dance and be silly and then in a matter of a couple minutes be sitting, calm and ready to learn.

Want to increase the productivity in your classroom? Try brain breaks with GoNoodle!  It really is super easy, fun, and effective.  Now that's a great way to spend a couple minutes in the classroom.

If you are a GoNoodle fan, then you will this bonus:  Use the Code "BTSwithGoNoodle" for 15% off any purchase from the GoNoodle Shop!  Click on the picture below to see the amazing GoNoodle products that are available!

And - one lucky person will win some GoNoodle playing cards just for leaving a comment.  Share your favorite GoNoodle brain break, or one that you want to try in your classroom.  Then leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you are the winner!!  I will randomly select the winner on the morning of Saturday, September 12, 2015.  Winner will be contacted by e-mail.