You feel it. You see it. You can even hear it.
Any teacher can tell you when her class has hit its maximum mental capacity, but so many of us treacherously push on because of schedules, plans, or the pressure of content to cover. From bell schedule to recess breaks, the bottom line is that we teach in classrooms and on rotations that are not designed to maximize student learning.
Research shows that building in regular, short breaks throughout the day can increase learning. The great news is that you don’t have to feel overwhelmed with planning. Remembering to take each day “one step at a time” is key to modeling mental health and balance for other educators, caregivers, and your students.
To help you do this, we have curated a few resources to help you learn more about the neural impact of regularly-scheduled mental breaks. Download your free copy of BUOY’s Online Brain Break’s slide deck — a collection of 10 “ready-to-rock” activities that you can use online and face-to-face to create these necessary moments in the school day.
- Dive into the neuroscience of brain breaks with this quick-read published by Edutopia, Using Brain Breaks to Restore Student Focus. “ Author Judy Willis shares the “what” behind brain breaks and gives a few strategies to get started.
“Brain breaks do not require disruption in the flow of learning. Simply stretching, moving to a different part of the room, or singing a song can revitalize the brain. Use your learning goals and students’ responses to guide you in selecting the best type of brain break.“ (https://www.edutopia.org/article/brain-breaks-restore-student-focus-judy-willis)
- Learn more about why students are so easily distracted in the article, Research-Tested Benefits of Breaks. The author explores stress, focus, and how to boost brain function. Additionally, you will find more information on social-emotional development and how recess is “crucial and necessary” for younger children.
- For those of you looking to learn more about the science of behavior, this research article, Off-Task Behavior in Elementary Children, offers deep insight into what actually is going on when children misbehave.
We’re so excited to amplify this topic that we captured our passion for brain break in our recent BUOYcast — Episode 15, The Science Behind Brain Breaks.
Take your first step towards a more balanced learning experience — virtually or IRL.