The College School

by Debbie Seador

All students need to rest their brains once and a while particularly in the current climate where many students are spending educational time in a virtual world. Learners can give their brain a break by stepping away from a desk or a screen to get moving or take a deep relaxing breath. A brain break is an opportunity for students to adjust their focus and allow them to energize or calm their body and brain. Brain breaks are versatile, they can be done anywhere, anytime, with anyone.

Research shows that brain breaks have many benefits. These include a decrease in stress and frustration and an increase in on-task behavior and productivity. Students are able to retain more academic information and develop perseverance. Brain breaks strengthen social-emotional growth by allowing practice of skills such as cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.

Utilizing a brain break when students experience low energy levels can revitalize them and prompt better skill retention or production at mentally draining times such as during tests/quizzes, challenging tasks/concepts, or lessons at the end of the day. Breaks for the brain are also useful when energies are high and the wiggles need to be released such as after physical education class or before an exciting lesson. Brain breaks should be short and quick (1 to 5 minutes) so as to optimize learning without interrupting the process.

Here are some resources that provide energizing and/or relaxing brain breaks suitable for the home environment as well as in the classroom: