Brain breaks are fun, but they have a purpose in the classroom.
Brain breaks are a quick and effective way of changing or focusing the physical and mental state of learners. They are also a useful tool for students to use to help activate, energize and stimulate their brains.
I use brain breaks in the classroom because listening in Spanish is very rigorous.
I include brain breaks everyday where students stand up and move around. Sometimes, we play a type of hot potato game and, later, rock, paper, scissors. Once we finish, we go back to listening to Spanish. I try to build in at least 2 brain breaks per 45 minute class, so that students have a brief rest from all the listening.
Brain breaks are based in brain research.
Current research indicates that students are easily distracted. Thus, regular, short breaks can help them focus, increase their productivity, and reduce their stress. Regular breaks throughout the school day—from short brain breaks in the classroom to the longer break of recess—are not simply downtime for students.
Brain breaks build community.
Students get to know each other better through the quick activities, and brain breaks also incorporate a sense of play in the classroom. All of this lowers the affective filter and enables greater language acquisition among students.