brain breaks

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Brain breaks are a quick and effective way of changing or focusing the physical and mental state of the learners in your group. They are also useful tools for students to use in their own revision to help activate, energize and stimulate their brains. Brain breaks ideally should be interspersed throughout the training program for full effect. We should get our students up and moving every 25 minutes.

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  • BRAIN BREAKS Enable learners to:

    Brain breaks are a quick and effective way of changing or focusing the physical and mental state of the

    learners in your group. They are also useful tools for students to use in their own revision to help activate,

    energize and stimulate their brains. Brain breaks ideally should be interspersed throughout the training

    program for full effect. We should get our students up and moving every 25 minutes.

    Use movement to stimulate

    neurological pathways and

    help both sides of the brain

    work together.

    Prepare for learning.

    Improve concentration.

    Become calm, alert

    and ready for

    learning.

    Improve co-ordination.

  • Arm Activation

    Stretch one arm above head, grasp elbow of this arm with other arm.

    Stretch arm away from head, forward, backward and then towards ear.

    Exhale and hold for 8 counts.

    Good for handwriting, spelling and writing.

    Variations: standing, arm straight ahead, next to hip, behind waist.

    All in a Spin

    Get group to sit on chairs in a circle with one less chair than size of group

    A group member stands in centre & says I am [states their own name] and this

    is [pointing to and naming another group member]

    The person standing in the middle then swops places with that person who in

    turn names another person and swops places with them

    Alphabet Edit Alphabet Edit is a challenge. It is a very useful activity for clearing the

    mind of any baggage brought to the classroom that may be getting in the

    way of learning. It can be used for practising spelling and for learning the

    alphabet:

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    L T R R T R L L R T T R L L R T L R T R R T L L L R

    Alphabet Edit involves reading the letters of the alphabet (have the alphabet

    written around the room with letters L, R or T under each) aloud as a class

    or small group whilst completing the accompanying action.

    L is a left arm raise

    R is a right arm raise

    T is both arms together.

  • A variation would be to say a vocabulary word (that deals with your subject) and

    read it a letter at a time. Students then have to to look at the chart and move

    their body parts according to the letter under the alphabet letter.

    A further variation (and complication) is to accompany the arm raise with

    an opposite leg raise! You can make it as fast or as slow as you like or do

    the alphabet backwards! Alphabet edit helps hand-eye co-ordination and improve

    visual, auditory and kinaesthetic ability.

    Brain buttons

    Make a U-shape with the thumb and index finger of one hand and place in the

    center of your chest just below the collarbone. Gently rub this acupressure point

    for 20 to 30 seconds while placing your other hand over the navel. Then change

    hands and repeat. Helps with clear thinking, keeping pace while reading,

    handwriting, reading and focus. Variations include: Do 8s with nose while holding

    points, massage to left and right of navel.

    Calf Pump

    Place hands on back of chair

    Place one leg behind, keep it straight and lean forward.

    Lift back heel off floor and put weight on forward leg.

    Shift weight to back leg, press heel down and exhale.

    Good for listening, reading and writing.

  • COLOUR CHANT

    Look at the chart and say the COLOUR not the word:

    YELLOW BLUE ORANGE

    BLACK RED GREEN

    PURPLE YELLOW RED

    ORANGE GREEN BLACK

    BLUE RED PURPLE

    GREEN BLUE ORANGE

    Left Right brain conflict: Your right brain tries to say the colour and your left

    brain insists on saying the word.

    Cross crawl

    From standing, begin to march in time. As you raise your knees touch them with the

    opposite elbow. Helps with reading, writing, listening, spelling, memory and

    coordination. Variations: hand to opposite knee, slow motion and eyes closed.

  • Different Directions

    Have your students spin their right arm in a forward circle with their arm parallel

    to the ground. Now have them take their left hand and make a backward circle

    overlapping their right hand. Their hands should overlap each other but never

    touch. When they have done this, tell them to start their left hand spinning and

    their right hand overlap the left. It is really difficult to do. Most will be able to do

    one or the other. You can also have the speeds change.

    Double Doodle

    Take a large sheet of paper or use a board and chalk to draw large continuous and

    overlapping mirrors shapes using both hands at the same time. Begin with large

    circles, eights, squares or triangles. Be aware of mirrored movements and move on

    to more detailed shapes. Helps connect the left and right sides of the brain and is

    very relaxing.

    DOUBLE DOODLES / PALM TO PALM

    Get students to doodle a shape in the air with one hand.

    Then get them to doodle in the air the same shape with both hands.

    Then get them to write a word in the air using one then both hands.

    Then get them to join hands with a partner, palm to palm.

    One student then writes their name in the air using their right hand which

    results in their partner writing the name backwards. Partners then swap roles

    Then both students write their names simultaneously in the air palm to palm.

  • Energiser

    Sit in chair, head resting on desk, hands flat in front.

    Inhale, lift forehead, neck then upper back.

    Release, curl head down towards chest, then forehead back on desk.

    Good for handwriting and listening,

    Variations: In gym class with a mat lying down.

    Energy Yawn

    Pretend to yawn, close eyes tight and massage face where upper and lower

    back molars are.

    Make a deep relaxed yawning sound while massaging muscles.

    Good for handwriting, writing, reading aloud and public speaking.

    Variations: strengthen tongue by spreading over upper palate while doing

    yawn.

    Executive stretch or elbow flare Place your hands behind your neck loosely grasped. Keep your head and neck tall.

    Squeeze below the shoulder blades and take your elbows back, taking care not to

    press on your neck. Hold for five seconds.

    Eye relaxation Look ahead and imagine a clock face. Move your eyes slowly clockwise keeping your

    head still, briefly stopping at 3pm, 6pm, 9pm and 12pm. Then reverse, moving your

    eyes anticlockwise, stopping briefly at 9pm, 6pm and 3pm and back to 12pm.

  • Footflex

    Sit with ankle resting on opposite knee.

    Place finger tips at beginning and end of calf muscle.

    Massage muscle and flex foot up and down.

    Good for writing and reading.

    Figure Eights

    Have a book or spiral in your hand.

    While bending your knew a little, take the spiral and put it through your legs.

    Grab it with the other hand and then push it around the outside your leg and put it

    back through your legs. Finish your figure eight. Try to go as fast as you can. Now

    switch directions.

    Finger Aerobics

    Stand up

    Lift both hands with four fingers up on each hand.

    Move the pointer on one hand and the pinkie on the other.

    Now move the tall finger on one hand and the ring finger on the other.

    Next move the ring finger on one hand and the tall finger on the other.

    Now move the pinkie finger on one hand and the pointer finger on the other.

    Keep doing this over and over to make a rippling effect.

    This forces both sides of your brain to work together.

    Try this for 30-40 seconds.

  • Get Rid of Extra Energy IN CLASS!

    Do your students ever get restless in class? Put a Bouncy Ball in the classroom to

    act as a chair for students. What is best is that the students who are always up

    and active in the class are the ones who like it. The drawbacks are that they lose

    air and sometimes pop.

    They do make bouncy ball chairs. This would be a smaller bouncy ball embedded into

    actual chairs. This would be an excellent release of energy for a student. Make

    sure you have high ceilings.

  • Gravity glider

    Sit down.

    Cross feet and bend forward.

    Reach out with head down and allow arms to glide.

    Exhale while readching forward, inhale while lifting up.

    Change legs.

    Good for math, reading and thinking.

    Variations: with eyes closed, while standing-keep knees unlocked and lower

    back flat.

    HOBBY QUEST

    Student in centre of circle others asks questions to identify a hobby and to find

    out more about it.

  • Hook Ups

    One person should

    Clap and miss

    Thumbs down

    Hands together

    Scoop the ice cream (like pictured)

    The other person should

    Point out a finger or thumb for the other person to move (don't touch the finger)

    Try pointing to a few fingers before switching roles

    This Brain Break crosses the mid-line of your body and helps both sides of your

    brain work together.

  • I AM A VEGETABLE

    Get group to sit on chairs in a circle with one less chair than size of group

    & give each group member the name of a vegetable - carrot, pea or sprout.

    Call out a vegetable name & all group members with that vegetable as a

    name have to sw

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