As educators, we’re told we must utilize every bit of time we have for instruction. It’s easy to think the time wasted is a missed opportunity. We’re already pressed for time. What if I told you that you’re boosting productivity, creativity, and social skills in your classroom when you make time for brain breaks?
That’s great, right? But what if I told you that some brain breaks encourage happier classrooms? I’m sure you’d be willing to do it because you want your students to have positive experiences at school.
There are three brain breaks that I recommend for every classroom. These are mood boosters, improving your classroom culture and climate.
Here are three brain breaks for a happier classroom!
Brain Break #1: Count Your Blessings
With your students sitting, have them lay their hands palm up on either their desk or their knees. Have your students think of things they’re grateful for. This could be either in school or in their everyday life. For each something they think or whisper, they tap their finger on their forehead and repeat on the other, counting ten blessings.
I like to start each morning with this exercise because it sets the tone for the rest of our day. Counting your blessings trains your students to look for the good things in their day. It gives them something to look forward to and teaches them gratitude.
Brain Break #2: Dance Party
A dance party is precisely what it sounds like. Take 3 – 5 minutes to turn on a fun song to have a dance party. You can find a ton of great videos on GoNoodle. Some students don’t dance, but it’s okay if they stand and move because that’s all we ask for.
Taking quick moments to move and dance allows students to get their blood flowing and oxygenate their brains. This is a great way to boost their moods! I like to do this after reading blocks, tests, or anytime they’ve sat down for more than 30 minutes.
Brain Break #3: The Rose
The Rose is a great brain break activity near the end of the day. Students share their rose with a partner. Start with the rose. This is one good thing that happened during the day. Next, they share their thorn, one bad thing that happened during the day. Then, they end with their bud. The bud is what they’re looking forward to tomorrow.
This activity helps them reflect on the parts of their day and gives them something to look forward to for tomorrow. When we reflect on the good aspects, we want to repeat them more often. Likewise, when we reflect on the bad parts, we want to avoid or correct them. This reflection exercise helps your students refocus their energy to improve their future.
Creating positive experiences is what it’s all about. Read this post if you’re interested in learning more about building relationships with your students.
These three simple exercises create happier classrooms because students exercise gratitude, their body, and reflect on their day. I love that these brain breaks are short, free, and great for any grade level. Be consistent with these, and I promise you’ll notice a happier mood in yourself and your students.