[ARTICLE] Want More Student Engagement + Focus? Do this Simple Practice!

brain breaks elementary secondary

We've got a simple practice for you that will increase student engagement, focus, and the overall learning experience! Are you ready for it? Drum roll please....

Get up and move!

Simple, but profound.

The science is clear: In order for students to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order to pay attention, we need to let students move.

Brain breaks re-energize the brain, so that more learning and retention can occur. According to Wendy Suzuky, "Movement is the most transformative thing we can do for our brains." Let's examine the reasons why according to research.

Benefits of Brain Breaks:

  • Increase focus
  • Increase productivity
  • Improve student problem solving
  • Improve cognitive skills
  • Decrease stress
  • Reduces disruptive behavior
  • Promote physical fitness
  • Improve mood
  • Improve short-term memory
  • Improve long-term memory

What We Can Do (Simple Action Steps):

  • Research shows that more learning occurs when taught in smaller chunks of time with many short breaks, rather than teaching for longer amounts of time with less breaks.
  • Do not take away recess. 
  • Provide a space in your classroom or school, where students can self-regulate through movement, deep breathing, and other healthy coping strategies.
  • Access the Generation Wellness Toolkit to download 50+ brain breaks.

Would You Like More Info? Take a Look at These Research Studies: 

References used for this blog post:

  • Maeda and Randall showed that five minutes of moderate to vigorous activity significantly improved math fluency and classroom concentration.
  • Norlander et al. demonstrated significant gains in concentration when five to 10 minute exercise and relaxation breaks were used.
  • Hollar et al. studied about 4588 low income elementary school students in Florida who, after participating in an intervention including nutritious food, 10 to 15 minute exercise breaks and nutrition teaching, had significantly higher Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test scores. Savoy, M. (2018). Benefits of a brain break? 

Here's to a Generation of Wellness!


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