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OT Corner: Students Shouldn’t Earn Brain Breaks

[Source:  Pink Oatmeal]
I love brain breaks.  I  don’t love when I hear others saying that their students earned a brain break. Students shouldn’t earn brain breaks.  Hearing someone say that their class earned a brain break just seems backwards to me.  Brain breaks are something that students NEED and should not be skipped if the class didn’t “earn” them.  I’m not saying that students shouldn’t have the opportunity to do them after they’ve worked hard or a job well done.  I’m saying that they should be looked at as a NEED and not as a extra.
A brain break is a time in the day that students are allowed to move and get the wiggles out!  They are absolutely essential to learning.
Research:  The research is pretty clear that students that have physical activity in their day do better in school.

  • A study in 2006 found that students who participated in energizers in their school day improved their on task behavior by up to 20% after energizer activities.  It also showed a statistically significant difference in on task behavior between those kids that participated in the energizers versus those students that did not.
  • recent study released in the Journal of Pediatrics in September found that students that participated in a physical activity program enhanced cognitive performance and brain function during tasks requiring greater executive control.
  • Recess is another form of a brain break.  Unfortunately not all students get recess.  Researchhas shown that students who have greater than or equal to one recess break during the day for greater than 15 minutes was associated with better behavior based off of teacher ratings

Brain Break Resources:   GoNoodle – This is a free resource available to teachers. You

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