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Brain Breaks for Kindergarteners and First Graders

Brain Breaks for Kindergarteners and First Graders

As much as teachers need caffeine and a seven-day weekend, kids need movement throughout their learning day. Brain breaks during the day are essential for students’ well-being and attention spans. The misconception for some educators is that activity leads to chaos. Kids feel more unpredictable when they are out of their seats and moving around, right?

Actually, research shows that movement leads to improved classroom management if done correctly. When you understand the benefits of movement, you know why it’s important to add to your day. Take my hand, friend. Let’s figure out how to move effectively and boost your engagement, morale, and classroom atmosphere! ⤵️

Why Movement Matters

Standards and expectations for students and teachers are increasing rapidly. Let’s face it, things can feel pretty serious sometimes! As our to-do lists mount higher and higher, alongside the expectations placed on teachers, movement can take a backseat in the classroom.

However, adding brain breaks into your schedule benefits your students’ bodies and brains! 

Movement benefits your students by:

  • Improving physical well-being
  • Increasing focus and attention to tasks/lessons
  • Lowering stress
  • Elevating mood or morale
  • Improving student behaviors

 

All of these ingredients equal more learning and better classroom management. Let’s talk about how to implement brain breaks effectively.

Classroom Expectations

brain breaks

Like all things, it’s essential to teach kids WHY movement matters to get their buy-in to follow expectations! I created posters to help my students understand why movement is necessary. Keeping these displayed is a colorful and pointed reminder of why brain breaks matter and how we do them in our classroom! Kids know that I believe that movement is fun and we can be silly, but the end objective is also to LEARN.

Making movement a part of your routine and establishing expectations makes brain break boundaries clear.

I teach students my students four primary rules:

  1. Pick a Smart Spot for movement. A Smart Spot is a place where you can do your best. 
  2. They should do their best to keep moving!
  3. Be safe with their body.
  4. Have fun, and enjoy the time in motion!
 

When you build movement breaks into your schedule and review the classroom poster as needed, students understand that this is an expectation and a privilege. They know their boundaries and will work hard to stay within those limits! 

And because movement doesn’t just benefit kids, move with your students if you can. They love moving and dancing with you, strengthening your bond with them when they see you in a fun and silly light!

To help you get started, I would love to offer you my free movement posters so that you can establish expectations and get moving!

Easy Brain Breaks

Adding movement into your classroom does not have to be stressful or complicated. Give it a try with one of my favorite ✨ FREE ✨ activities: Classroom Move Maker!

If you find yourself in a pinch and needing to get your students moving, here are some of our favorite videos:

 

None of these videos require preparation, so that you can play them anytime your students need to MOVE! The videos also guide your students through the movements and dances. There are countless other choices on YouTube and GoNoodle to keep your kids moving! Also, don’t be afraid to mix it up. There are many ways to get moving between videos, dances, games, and stretches.

Brain Breaks for the Win!

I hope you walk away from this blog armed with some resources to start incorporating regular movement breaks into your classroom. You will soon see that movement doesn’t automatically mean chaos! If you’re ready to take it to the next level, please work your way through my movement ideas that span different subjects, themes, and lessons for so many more movement activities! 

You’re well on your way to movin’ and groovin’ toward classroom success! I’m rooting for you always.

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Emily Yerty

Emily Yerty

I’m a teacher who believes in creating a classroom kids love and activities that keep them engaged all day!

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