Brain breaks are a quick and effective way to change or focus the physical and mental state of students or learners in a class. They are recommended to help activate, energize, and stimulate the brain. Brains breaks also contribute to improving concentration levels in students and aid in relieving stress. They may also help students to clear their minds and refocus on the task at hand.
The most effective brain breaks utilise some level of physical movement so as to stimulate neurological pathways to keep both hemispheres of the brain working together.
Brain breaks are refreshing for both students and teachers. Implementing these in the classroom boost student efficiency. These activities take about 1-3 minutes of class time to complete and are definitely worth the time. A brain break can be incorporated every 25-30 minutes in class. It is important to explain the purpose of brain breaks to students so that their impact is maximised. This also helps to set important behaviour expectations before beginning the brain breaks. Some tips to maximise the impact of brain breaks include setting a timer for the activity to save time, give students written directions, and if possible, demonstrate the task they will be doing.
Since this would be a new instructional technique, students will take a couple tries to get into the flow of it seamlessly, so don’t get discouraged or give up! Some of the best international schools in Bangalore are already incorporating brain breaks in their classrooms.
Traditionally an idle brain might have been deemed an inactive one, but that is far from the truth. When students aren’t focussing on a task, their brains get the vital time they need to process information and make connections, which ultimately enhances learning. Brain breaks also result in improving student behaviour as well as time spent on each classroom task. They positively impact reading comprehension and creative thinking abilities of students as well.
An important note for educators is to plan brain breaks keeping in mind the age of students. Young children naturally have lower stamina than older students. So planning activities that take up 5 to 10 minutes is best for them.
The best way to introduce brain breaks is by teaching them like you would anything else. Don’t go all in on day one. It helps students if you can model brain breaks. This includes explaining how a brain break works, why we are doing it and practicing a break. Make sure to get feedback from students and adjust your breaks to suit your class accordingly.
APWS is among the top CBSE schools in Bangalore that uses such innovative classroom practices.