How Do I “Get Em’ Back”!?!

Many schools are using brain breaks as a tool to increase physical activity during the school day.  Skillastics activities are great to use for these activity breaks and can be used in a variety of ways (i.e have designated brain break leaders and they lead the class in their favorite Skillastics task, give teachers a set of Sillastics task cards and they can select one for students to do during a transition period, etc.).  But, probably the most common pull back from teachers is their fear that the students will be out of control and it will take too long to get them back on task.  So, as you are helping classroom teachers with ideas for activity/brain breaks, provide them with some tips for “getting them back”!

Establish a Routine/Expectations like other classroom procedures:

  • Acceptable noise level
  • Safety
  • Understanding the difference in being in the classroom and the gym

Attention Getters:

  • Use a digital timer on the smart board and expect students to be back in their seat at the end of the time
  • Play music, when it stops, students go back to their seats
  • Use a hand signal (hand in air) to let students know it’s time to return to their seat
  • As part of the directions, include “when you are finished, go back to your seat”

Use a variety of noise makers as a stop signal:

  • Train Whistle
  • Duck Whistle
  • Clicker

Call and respond:

  • Say “active kids”, students respond with “do better”
  • Say your school mascot name, students respond with the word “ready”
  • Variety of hand clap patterns, student repeat
  • “Clap two times if you can hear me”

As you model brain breaks for classroom teachers, include some of these strategies for managing movement in the classroom.  Teaching an acceptable routine for having students up and moving is really the key to being successful.  If it is taught like other class procedures then boosting your brain power will be enjoyable for teachers and students alike!



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