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How to Get Students Ready to Learn After Brain Breaks or Recess

How to Get Students Ready to Learn After Brain Breaks or RecessHow to Get Students Ready to Learn After Brain Breaks or Recess

Do your students have trouble settling down after brain breaks or recess time?  Maybe you are hesitant to incorporate movement into the school day because you loathe the aftermath of getting the high energy students to return to academic work.  Research indicates that students learn better after movement breaks.  Therapists, teachers, and parents know this but squeezing in brain breaks and recess can be difficult when students have high academic workloads.  To improve student’s behaviors after brain breaks one of the easiest ways is to follow the same brain break routine every time so everyone knows what to expect.  BUT, have you ever considered your own behaviors or actions regarding how your students react following movement breaks?  Our actions, behaviors and emotional states significantly influence the outcomes of children.

Here are suggestions to change your own actions as the adult to help students get ready to learn after brain breaks or recess:

  1. Talk in a low, calm voice.  If we start the lesson or activity out with a quiet, low, calm tone of voice children will model our behavior.
  2. Minimize your own movement.  Stay in one place while you instruct the class so the students can direct their focus to one location.
  3. Minimize your own gestures.  Try not to only stay in one place but also try to start the lesson out minimizing your gestures.  Avoid talking with your hands, pointing and general fidgeting yourself.
  4. Change the lighting.  If possible dim the lighting to encourage the students to return to a calm state with their bodies ready to learn.
  5. Direct the student’s attention to an area that is organized, clutter-free and has limited visual distractions.  Perhaps have an area in the room that has decreased visual input.  Position yourself in that area so the students can focus their attention directly on you.

Not only are these suggestions suitable for after brain breaks or recess, but they can be applied to anytime you need to have children learning a new skill.

Here are several more suggestions to help get students ready to learn:

Help students who continue to fidget.

Offer students self-assessment checklist to determine if they are ready to learn.

Provide Ready to Work Clip Charts.

Teach deep breathing exercises to help calm the class.

Provide different calming strategies for students.

Offer alternative seating.

Breathing Breaks: This digital download is a collection of 16 deep breathing exercises and 3 tip sheets. Deep breathing exercises can help to decrease stress, reduce anxiety, remain calm, strengthen sustained attention, sharpen the ability to learn and more! This packet includes 16 full page breathing exercises and 3 tips sheets in color or black and white. In addition, the breathing exercises are provided 4 to a page to make smaller cards or booklets.  FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION.

How to Get Students Ready to Learn After Brain Breaks or Recess