Week 17: Brain Breaks and Mindfulness

The Importance of Brain breaks and Mindfulness

From the TMC Team

Katherine Hughes

Kristina Hughes

No joke, as I started brainstorming for this blog, I thought to myself, “I need a brain break.” We all need a mental break…...even adults. As educators it is essential that we provide brain breaks and mindfulness activities for ourselves and our students.

Brain breaks and Mindfulness activities are tools that we need to use to help students be more successful and maintain relationships. Students need to learn how to hit the reset button, whether they are frustrated by a situation or need a break from an assignment. A brain break is what it sounds like—a break from whatever kids or adults are focusing on. Studies show that short brain breaks during a work schedule have real benefits. The breaks reduce stress and anxiety while increasing attention and productivity. According to studies, “Students should have a kinesthetic brain break every 25-30 minutes.”

The key is to take a break before fatigue, distraction or lack of focus sets in. It is important to be mindful and recognize when students need a break. It is ok to stop in the middle of a lesson, if you notice that your students are restless or frustrated. The simple reset through a brain break or mindful activity can increase productivity and help students gain knowledge. On several occasions adults have walked by my room and witnessed my students doing the “Macarena,” or yoga poses. They sometimes look perplexed and I’ll remind them that kids need to reset to learn. There are so many wonderful online resources, such as “Go Noodle,” Just Dance, and breathing techniques that are perfect for a virtual class break.

Along with brain breaks, mindfulness tools need to be incorporated into your daily schedule.

Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on their present moment. It helps with reducing stress and increasing overall happiness.

There are several resources online such as breathing and meditation techniques, and listening to peaceful music. I normally have a mindfulness period right after lunch. This gives my students a quiet time to relax and refocus. The mindfulness break sets the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

The Teacher Monster Club would love to hear from you. What types of brain breaks or mindfulness activities do you use in your classroom? For more ideas check out the resources on www.theteachermonsterclub/resources

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