Students spend a large amount of their day sitting in classrooms, listening to teachers, taking notes, doodling or simply zoning out. The amount of information they receive every two hours varies from subject to subject, from teacher to teacher and from student to student. A combination of factors affects the learner and plays a critical role in assimilating new concepts, such as the teachers’ style in presenting the topic and students’ readiness in interacting with the new subject including mental, psychological and cognitive disposition during the lesson. Recess and lunch time are breaks that help students’ brain and body to relax. However, is it enough to rejuvenate the learner?
Dr. Lori Desautels (2017) states that, “25 percent of all adolescents—including 30 percent of adolescent girls—are experiencing anxiety disorders”. She adds that brain breaks minimize students’ stress level and help them refocus on their learning. She offers exercises that stimulate areas of the brain relevant to learning.
Students can also use these brain-break exercises while working on their homework assignments. Here are a few:
Funny Talk: Students try to touch the roof of their mouth with their tongue and begin to speak.
Tongue Stretch: After cleaning their hands or using a Kleenex, students can stretch their tongue as far as possible. This will relax “the throat, palate, upper neck, and brain stem”.
Humming: Students can hum a song or anything funny that makes them giggle or they can move their arms and legs when others are humming. “This activity releases stress and blockages in the brain stem”.
Bilateral Scribbles: Students can hold colored markers in each hand and scribble while listening to music. Discuss and name the art that is completed.
Name Scribbles: Students will write their name four times with their dominant hand then with the non-dominant hand. Discuss the experience, including the difficulty each student felt.
Here are some additional Youtube videos for braingym exercises: