May 2012 Teacher Tips

San Antonio AllianceUncategorized

Brain Breaks

Give your students a 2-4 minute breaks every 20 – 30 minutes, more or less, depending on the age. (Try some of the strategies listed below.) When you resume, their brains will be at a higher state of attention. The German researcher Zeigarnick found that interrupting a task periodically can substantially improve learner recall.

From Presenting with Pizzazz!, Sharon Bowman.

  • Learn by Feel – The learning gurus say kinesthetic learners will absorb your material more quickly if they have something to do with their hands. “Occupy their hands…free their minds.”
  • Random Response Device (Anything soft and throwable)- At any moment, announce that you have a “Random Response Device.” When students catch the ball, they need to answer a question or share something they’ve learned.
  • Flamingo – Stand on one foot and share something you’ve learned.
  • Snowball Fight – Write review questions and facts on individual sheets of paper. Crumple into ball. Have students stand in a circle and throw snowballs at each other for half a minute. At teacher’s signal, students uncrumple papers, read and share with group.