Brain breaks are a BIG part of most classrooms that you will see today. These mental breaks help students refocus, stretch their bodies, and most importantly – have fun! Brain breaks are important in every classroom and, especially in the virtual one where a lot of time is spent on the computer, we are always looking for ways to get our students UP and MOVING! We meet with our students for two-hour sessions and we always put a brain break in the middle of each hour. How do we do a brain break like this in a virtual classroom?
What are brain breaks?
- Brain breaks are great for the student! I know it sounds obvious but it is so true! The fact of the matter is that in a traditional classroom, students are ALWAYS active, chatting, having recess, or playing a game. A virtual classroom has a different way of running. The students in a virtual classroom are not constantly moving around – they are always sitting at their desks. So how do we still give them the physical activity that we have in a traditional classroom but also give them the mental exercise that they need?
- Brain breaks are great for the teacher! In a traditional classroom, the teacher can usually leave the students to their own devices to create physical activity in the midst of the instructional time.
Why Have Brain Breaks?
Brain breaks are built-in pauses during online learning in which the students and the teacher decompress for a moment, shift direct attention away from the course material and, instead, towards a more fun, classroom activity-based practice. This quick activity allows the teacher and the students to return to the lesson with a refreshed and re-centered perspective. Students and teachers can stretch, use the restroom, dance, chat about non-school things. It is refreshing and makes for a much more enjoyable class time. You can find more information on the benefits of brain breaks from this article here.
How to do Brain Breaks in a Virtual Classroom
- Jump! Sometimes kids just need to bounce their energy out.
- Stretch! It’s never a good idea to spend too much time sitting in one position. Allow kids to take a break and bring some flexibility back into their spines.
- Take a dance break. Music is a great way to reset the mood in a room and raise the energy level. Put on a fun song and have a 30-second freestyle dance party. Here are some kid-friendly music playlists.
- Make a slideshow of your favorite GIFs and have your kids act them out. Funny animals are a good place to start!
- Just have some free conversations between students. They enjoy talking to each other, and you can build connections with them.
Virtual classrooms are a BIG part of learning in the 21st century and by adding a few brain breaks, we can add much-needed fun and engagement into our virtual classroom!
At EduMEE our unique brand of online learning incorporates exciting and interactive social gaming into every lesson. Children might be hesitant to stop learning because they are having so much fun with their classmates. However, we also incorporate brain breaks into our classroom so that we can be successful in meeting the needs of our students and teachers. To learn more click below!