Virtual Brain Breaks
As educators continue to teach remotely all over the world and students continue to learn from home, movement is more important than ever! On a normal school day students move from class to class and have time away from the classroom during lunch breaks. Now, classrooms have relocated to bedrooms, kitchens, offices and many other spaces in the home, making it difficult to incorporate the movement that usually comes naturally within a regular school day.
There are many benefits to brain and movement breaks in both remote and in-person classes. Looking at a computer screen all day long can be extremely tiring. As educators, we find it challenging to stay focused at times, imagine how your students must be feeling! We all know they have far more energy than us as we see it on a daily basis when we are trying to keep up with them in class! Introducing brain breaks is a great way to help them to burn off some of that energy and help get rid of that restless feeling which can put a real strain on their attention span. They are an excellent way to press the reset button at the beginning of a class or even during to break up a lesson.
Virtual Brain Break Ideas
Meditation is a great way to help students regulate their emotions. Incorporate some directed and thoughtful stretching at the beginning and end of mediation sessions to add some movement to this activity.
5,4,3,2,1 is a great activity to get your students moving. Pick 5 different movements and get students to complete them in descending order. For example, 5 jumping jacks, 4 claps, 3 hops, 2 toe touches and 1 spin. Get students involved and allow them to pick the different movements.
Have a dance party! Research shows that when music is played blood flows more easily and it also elevates your mood. When dancing is added to this you create a fun experience where students can let loose. If your students are apprehensive of dancing with their cameras on they can still get involved with their cameras switched off until they feel more comfortable.
We all know how much our students enjoy social media and Tik Tok dances are all the rage at the moment. Why not pick a weekly dance to start classes with!
Clapping rhythms, this activity is more suited to older students but could be adapted for a younger class also. The first student begins with a clapping rhythm, the class follows and the next student adds to that rhythm again.
Create a GIF slideshow! Another media based activity where students can get moving. Ask your students to imitate the movements of the GIFs selected. Even better, get your students involved by asking them to submit GIF ideas!