Brain Breaks

For a few years now we have had a physical education teacher, Nadine Stanley, speaking to our staff about what she calls “Brain Breaks”. In her presentation she shared the following information about the positives of these short bursts of physical activity in a classroom:

  • Exercise leads to the release of:
    • Endorphins – mood regulator
    • Dopamine-similar to adrenaline (controls movt. emotional responses, experiencing pleasure
    • Norepinephrine- relays message

  • Positives in the Classroom:
    • Reduces stres
    • Helps with impulse contro
    • Combats depressio
    • Focuses attentio
    • Increase self-estee
    • Increase motivation
    • Helps mood and anxiety regulation

There are many activities that are used but many of them focus on “crossing” the body. While doing this, there is some heightened brain activity that happens. This crossing of the midline helps your brain communicate across the two hemispheres. What I can tell you is these get the kids up out of their seats and the slight movement helps break up a long period of time. This prezi is just a small sampling of Brain Breaks that have been shared by Nadine but are a great place to start.


Zinnia said...

Our school believes and whole-heartedly embraces brain breaks and accelerated teaching and learning.

Does it work? YES! When done correctly and consistently. And the students LOVE it thinking they're just having fun moving, and spinning, and following through an obstacle course.

Here's part of our school website

Elizabeth-Lewis said...

I personally know a special education teacher who does yoga and various other exercises (brain breaks) every morning and afternoon with her students. She also swears by the results - the students are much more focused and ready to learn. I subbed in her class a few times and enjoyed the exercise myself! It definitely put me in a better, much more relaxed state of mind.