Monday, September 7, 2015

Brain Breaks in Kindergarten

Many researchers say that if students are working for an hour they need 15 minutes to take a break in order to get back to work full force.  Brain Breaks are essential in a kindergarten classroom where rigor is a buzz word and five year olds are tested.  In my classroom we use go noodle to give our selves a break and be silly.  After we take a brain break usually 10-15 minutes during our reading block, I see students able to focus, come back to learning and engage in the lessons compared to if I just 'powered through' the lessons.

Now, brain breaks don't come without their fair share on silliness, wiggles and giggles, which does lead to some management techniques that are helpful when bringing students back to the carpet or academic space.

When we are ready to get out some energy we log into go noodle and we choose a channel.  My students really love Moose Tube.  It is a fun, silly channel.  Moose Tube makes the kids laugh, move and be silly.

While the kids are getting out their energy, I am getting the next activity up and running, so I don't waste any transition time.  When we have taken our break for about 10-15 minutes, I give the kids 10 seconds to get themselves in control on the carpet.  And then, I will exit out of our session and the kids can see how many points they need to get to the transformer machine.

Once everyone is quiet, I press quit playing and this screen will come back up showing us that we have 3 more brain breaks before our character transforms. 

Go noodle is really a perfect way to get students energy out and get refocused for learning.  There is also a calming channel, and indoor recess channel.  Those are two more of my favorites.  

1.  Have students an assigned space in the classroom.  It helps from students bumping into one another, or arguing over the front row.  Trust me, it helps :)

2.  Try different channels until you find the one your class really enjoys.  But continue to mix it up!

3.  Do not exit out of your brain break until everyone is quiet and ready to learn.  I tried exiting out before students were quiet--it doesnt work, and it takes longer to get them calm and ready to learn again.  Make brain breaks a routine-and students will know the expectations. :)

Have fun dancing, laughing, giggling, moving and taking a break!