Using Brain Breaks to Restore Students’ Focus
Do you know how to help students concentrate?
Stress and overload prevent effective knowledge acquisition. The brain has to send signals from sensory receptors to save new information and brain breaks help to improve students’ possibility to study. Some learning activities allow recovering focus and encouraging attention. Studies have shown that when students do some type of physical activity before an assessment, they become more focused and their scores usually grow approximately by 10%.
When learner’s brain become overwhelmed, new stuff can’t achieve the prefrontal cortex and support memory. Brain breaks renew students’ emotional state for successful information flow. Also, being seated for long periods of time makes it harder to concentrate and learn.
Make time to switch students’ focus
A brain break allows changing the routine and brings novelty that refreshes our ability to absorb information. This is a great possibility to stop, provide a transition from one activity to another and refocus. Children may change the pace, move around, become engaged. This activity sends oxygen to the brain and raises blood flow, helps to retain the knowledge.
Breaks help us to receive insights with new solutions because we’ve refreshed our thinking. It may be a discussion or some specific verbal task. The most effective activities include some level of physical movement to promote neurological pathways.
Brain break activities require 1–3 minutes and a teacher has to take part as well to refresh the thinking. Before the breaks, explain the research-based goal of the activity to the students.
Improve students’ mood
Neuroscience proved the positive influence of dopamine on memory. To recover the emotional state for successful knowledge acquisition, include activities, such as listening to music, laughing, and collaboration with peers. You may read aloud interesting book, create active and funny games to energize the audience.
Particularly when themes of study are important foundations but not so interesting to students, useful activities will improve their motivation. Ask them to share ideas how the learning connects to their lives and how they may use this information in the future. Maybe, they will gain few ideas how to implement knowledge and they will become more engaged in the process. After a short period of time, learners’ renewed brains are ready to come back to listen and absorb information.
Include focused-attention practices
This is an exercise to eliminate distractions and researchers found that if the mind is quiet, we may better to cope with everyday challenges. It is important to let the brain relax and then return to the learning. Use breathing and deep-dive breath, music, and visualization to calm thoughts and feelings.
They need to be silent while focusing on breathing in and out. Ask learners to feel air going in and out of their lungs. It can be square breathing as well: breath in through the nose for 5 seconds, and then exhale through the mouth for 5 seconds. Repeat this activity for 3 minutes. It helps to manage breathing and calms the learners.
Make a habit
Involve students in the creation of the brain breaks and engage them in sharing ideas. Ask them to choose games that they like or suggest their own projects. They can play table tennis or board games to launch the attention and learn better.
Implement physical activity into the curriculum if you can and provide brain breaks on the regular basis. Try to provide 1 hour of physical activity every day and avoid the diseases connected with a habit being seated for long periods of time. New generation prefers to spend their time in front of the devices but they need to understand the importance of movement, fresh air, nature and different activities.
Encourage them to spend time differently, and use the imagination to create useful and interesting projects, explore new items. Support their ideas and offer resources to achieve results.
Some of the brain breaks can be done from a seated position enabling mobility challenged learners to take part with peers. The learners with mobility and sensory limitations can be helped to create adaptations to participate as well.
Change the routine and bring novelty that refreshes our ability to absorb information. This is a great possibility to stop, provide a transition from one activity to another and refocus. Children may change the pace, move around, become engaged. This activity sends oxygen to the brain and raises blood flow, helps to retain the knowledge.
Include activities, such as listening to music, laughing, and collaboration with peers to recover the emotional state for successful knowledge acquisition. You may read aloud interesting book, create active and funny games to energize the audience.
Implement focused-attention practices to eliminate distractions. It is important to let the brain relax and then return to the learning. Use breathing and deep-dive breath, music, and visualization to calm thoughts and feelings.
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