I went to SCOLT last month and did a workshop on Brain Breaks. It was my goal to give folx a mix of some tried and true Brain Breaks and some that are brand new that I’ve not shared beyond La Familia Loca PLC. We had a blast!
Statues Brain Break
We played Statues, which is the first Brain Break in my ten day Brain Break Challenge. Here’s a video of the fabulous educators who joined me, posing as silly statues:
Quick Feet Brain Break
At the very end of the workshop, I shared a Brain Break that I discovered the night before in my airbnb while scrolling Instagram! My friend Nicole sent me a reel and said that she could see my students playing it. I recognized the set up immediately and told her we had tried it before and it resulted in the bonking of heads and concussions! (? true story…) She was baffled as to how that was possible… I watched again and realized that this was the modification of the Brain Break that I’d been looking for! It makes the game that I tried 7 years ago safe! LOL
Get your students lined up as if you’re going to play face off (another fave). Each student should be facing a partner. In my classroom, we have to make four lines and each pair of lines face inward towards each other.
Next, walk down the center of the rows and put down a paper plate for each pair of students. The plate should be in between them, an equal distance from both of their feet.
You do not have to use a plate if you don’t have any around. Try using a solo cup placed on its rim. You can also use a marker that is placed horizontally so that students can roll it toward them.
Then, give students TPR or commands, and they should respond with the appropriate gesture. You say command after command and at some point you sprinkle in the word “PLATE” or “CUP” or “Marker!”, or whatever you have in the center of the aisle. The students compete to be the first person to use their foot to drag the object towards them. IT IS HYSTERICAL!
Here’s a video of us playing at SCOLT with the solo cups I found in my car! Shout out to Morgan Bennett for capturing this video and lots of other great photos for me!
I really do prefer playing with plates. Here is a video of my kids playing in class:
Listening Comprehension Game
Now, if you’d like, you can opt to play an alternate version of this and call it a listening comprehension game instead of a Brain Break. I mention this in Episode 40 of my podcast Teaching La Vida Loca.
For this version, line students up and set all the plates out. Retell the story/clipchat/info from class (literally anything you were doing in class), and as soon as you say something that DIDN’T happen or something that is NOT true, the kids compete to be the first to drag the plate in. For example, at the end of the class if I’m reviewing the clip chat story we just watched, I could say, “There was a girl named Stacy, and she loved video games. She was 9 years old and lived in Washington, and went to middle school at….” Every kid would be rushing to drag the plate because the girl went to elementary school not middle school.
The reason I say you can’t call the example above a Brain Break is because if you’re giving students MORE input, it is not a “break” so just call it a game instead!
Use Video for Student Buy-In
I hope you enjoy this one with your students! Don’t forget, showing them a video of other students can be the perfect way to get their buy-in. You can use the videos above or this one from Instagram, the reel my friend sent me!
Have a super duper week with your students! Until next time…
La Maestra Loca
Selfie Brain Break at SCOLT