I rarely write about Brain Breaks that are “chill” and don’t involve lots of noise and controlled chaos! That doesn’t mean I don’t do them though! Many of you have seen me use this Brain Break at workshops but this year I stepped it up a notch in my classes and I can’t wait to share with you!
A few years ago, my admin came to me and said, “hey! Parents are coming to the building tonight! Can you decorate the halls please? Día de muertos is coming up…. maybe you can put some calaveras up!” ummmm….. this was at 10 in the morning and I had 6 classes ahead of me and two meetings after school… That is when I came up with this genius brain break. I taped up 15 beautiful coloring pages all around my room and when the kids came in they grabbed 2 crayons or colored pencils or markers. Then ANY time we needed a brain break that day, I would announce “descanso” (break) and they’d get up and silently color at a coloring page! By the end of the day I had amazing pieces of art that were almost finished and just needed a little “filling in” and my principal was thrilled because ALL of the students had worked collaboratively on them.
Students LOVE this Brain Break because:
- it is relaxing
- outside of 4th grade, there aren’t necessarily lots of opportunities to “color” for fun outside of art class!
- it doesn’t require art “skill”
Teachers LOVE this Brain Break because:
- it is a SUPER easy way to get “student work” up on the walls and HEY! it is collaborative
- it is a quiet brain break (I always put on Spanish music in the background, will this stop them from talking to each other?! No, but it will certainly discourage it, especially if you set your expectations! remember, it is a 30-60 brain break not a 15 minute art project!)
- for once, your math/science/history teacher neighbor isn’t mad at you for the noise
- No one can get injured!!!
This year, it’s been even COOLER because my coloring pages are GIANT!
Usually, on a regular coloring page no more than 2 students can color together comfortably… I found these online and decided to splurge… (yes, my own money). Since then however, my Mommy has been getting them made for me at her local print shop where they blow up images like these and print them on enormous paper for only $5!!! Then, in Savannah, I introduced this brain break and one of the teachers told me I could find giant coloring pages at Five Below!! WHAAATTT!??!?! And another teacher shared this resource with me! which is really neat because of the cultural elements you could add to a simple Brain Break!
Until next time,
(and instead of a picture of me, here is one of baby loco…. STAAAAP!!! How cute is he?!!??!?! I am SO lucky to be his mama… He is sitting next to me sleeping right now, and Daddy is driving us to Alabama for a workshop for teachers new to CI tomorrow!!! YYAYYAYYY!)