If you’ve followed our series on the importance of Brain Breaks in the classroom, you know how passionate we are about their need.
Not the fact that they’re nice, but that they’re a need.
We have students in our classroom that have been in front of a screen since birth. They are lacking in the soft skills that previous generations have been learning innately. We need to help them learn how to take a breath and refocus when it’s necessary.
You take a minute when you need to regroup, right? Why should we expect that our students don’t need that just as much as we do?
The catch-22 with brain breaks in the classroom is that there are so many to choose from that they become overwhelming. Which do you choose? Will your students react appropriately? What was that one they really liked two months ago?
The last thing you want a brain break opportunity to do is to stress you out, and yet the overwhelm can do just that.
It’s important to give your students choice so they buy into what you’re doing, but on the same note, having them argue over which mindfulness activity they want to do it pretty much the most counterproductive thing that can happen.
This is why I created the awesome classroom game “Brain Break Bingo“.
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This game is perfect for elementary and early middle school-aged students.
Before you even start the game, which is ongoing, the class picks an activity that is an “extended” brain break. Think an extra recess, yoga, etc. Something that is exciting for them and you can market as the “ultimately brain break”
Once that is decided, the game begins.
The board is meant to hang in a spot where it is easy to access, along with the game pieces. I would suggest getting a small container, like this one, to hang on your board near it to hold all the pieces (ad).
Now it’s completely up to change which brain break activity you complete.
When you recognize the need for your class to have a brain break, pull out a game piece and determine where on the board it goes.
Then, you will see which activity that piece correlates with.
Once there are 5 brain breaks that have been completed in a row, the “big” brain break activity can be completed.
This crosses so many things off the list. It helps the students get excited about each individual brain break activity because of the suspense of what it will be. It also keeps them excited about the activities in general because they collectively picked what the prize will be, so heading towards that is also a goal.
It also, subconsciously, teaches students small things they can do when they find themselves needing to regroup. Over time they will begin to recognize the signs of needing a brain break and start developing their own strategies in regards to how to fulfill that for themselves personally. Sure, they may not play the same games when they get older, but they will remember what seemed to work to help them calm down, gear up, or focus and they will amend to their own needs.
And that right there is the win you are looking for.
If you want to check out Brain Break Bingo for your own class, you can find it here.