Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We all need a {Brain} Break Sometimes...

Spring Break.  I'm fairly certain it was thought up by a group of extremely exhausted teachers who needed a "mental health" day week as to prevent a one flew over the cucukoo's nest sort of incident.  Just coming off of Spring Break, I can tell everyone is feeling REFRESHED!  The weather is beautiful and we are on the downward slope to the end of the school year!


I find myself saying this to my sisters every year...

...and this to my husband.

I don't care what grade you teach, what subject you teach, or what your classroom make-up consists of... EVERYONE needs a BRAIN BREAK {or several} throughout the day. I have incorporated brain breaks into our daily classroom routine {morning exercise after calendar, in-between  each Daily 5 rotation-we do three rotations/ day, before we start our math class, and if we have time at the very end of the day}.  I know that sounds like a lot, but I think "Brain Breaks' got a bad name somewhere along the way. Your break doesn't have to be 10 minutes, or even 5 minutes, just a little something to get the kids up, moving, and refreshing their sweet little minds, and maybe us teachers' too! :)

I'm sure everyone has a Pinterest Board FULL of these fun little breaks to have on hand at a moments notice.  However, sometimes those breaks are WAY too long, they are linked to Youtube which may or may not be blocked at that moment in time, or the lyrics/ video is a tad inappropriate for your little ones--we've all been there, right? No? Just me? Ok great...

GoNoodle is a FANTASTIC website that is designed to get kids up and moving throughout the day!  Quickly set up your class, and start the goovin'!  You earn minutes along the way so you can see how long you have exercised together as a class!  The kids love seeing how much they can accumulate in a weeks time.  Some things you need to pay for {in the form of a membership} but you honestly aren't missing out if you take the freebie.

They break it down by category, too so you can mix up the type of breaks you're doing throughout the day.  It even shows how long the break lasts incase you're short on time {I swear I will be on time for lunch before the year is up!}.

Fun little variety going on here!
**The videos above are linked to Youtube, which may be blocked for some school servers

If you teach multiple classes, don't worry, there is a setting for that, too. :)

If you chose to do one of the "Run with Us" breaks, an Olympic athlete teaches the kiddos how to do the task at hand, as well as talks to the kids about the underlying "lesson", which is really sweet. <3

Of course, we have some educational ones as well if you need to put these in your plans :)

My favorites are the "Calming" breaks--it's all about breathing exercises and using your muscles in a controlled way.  The entire room is in full ZEN when we do these babies!

It's always fun to mix it up with a Just Dance on Youtube from time to time, but these are great little breaks to do when you just need a little KICK in your step {or perhaps if your friends are doing a little too much kicking of their own when you rather they not be}.

On a "Melt my Heart" teacher moment note, one of my students entered the Young Author's contest held each year in our County {and then across the state}.  This year's topic was "My happily ever after..." which of course was right up my alley because of my slight Fairy Tale obsession.  I always make this project optional since we really don't have the time to do a writing piece of this caliber in class.  She submitted her essay to me with the title, "Second Grade is a Fairy Tale." Of course I couldn't wait to read it!  This is what she wrote:

She ended up being a county winner, and I couldn't have been prouder of her.  I think as teachers, we sometimes get too caught up in the politics of it all {since it seems like politics are always catching up with us}, but this was a beautiful reminder that WE as teachers, are affecting these precious little minds and feelings  Of ALL the things to write about, she chose her teacher. >3
**I think I'm going to have her be a writer for my back to school pamphlet for next year, since she explained pretty much everything you need to know about our classroom perfectly :)

Ok, my mushiness is over!!  Time to head over to GoNoodle for some "calming" exercises now :) Happy Hump Day!


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