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Energizing Brain Breaks

Energizing Brain Breaks

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April 2013 | 64 pages | Corwin
The fastest way to keep your students engaged

It's an all too familiar sight: that glazed look in your students' eyes. They've been sitting or listening for too long. What they need is an Energizing Brain Break—a quick physical and mental challenge that's like hitting the refresh button on your computer, but for your students.

This practical full-color flip book contains 50 highly effective, classroom-tested brain breaks that you can put to immediate use across the grades. No preparation or supplies are required; just one to two minutes of your time when you see a need. You'll find pictures, directions, and online videos for activities such as:

Slap Count Letters: students alternate slapping each other's hands while spelling a word

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Math: partners reveal a certain number of fingers to each other, and the first person to add them together wins

Bizz-Buzz: groups of students count from 1 to 40 using a combination of numbers and words

There's no better way to help students remain sharp and alert, reenergized to take on the next task of learning!

Part I. Individual Brain Breaks
Arm Stretch
Arm Wrap
Choir Director
Different Direction Circles Index Fingers
Different Direction Circles Thumbs
Ear and Nose Switch
Elbow to Knee Stretch
Elbow to Knee Tap Patterns
Figure Eights
Finger Aerobics Patterns
Finger Aerobics Ripple
Finger Tips
I Bet You Can’t Do This
Inch Worm Stretch
Lap Tap
Palm Tapping
Paper Twirling
Pretzel Outline Index Fingers
Pretzel Stretch Fists
Right On Left Balance
T Stretch
Thumb and Pinkie
Touch Your Fingers Behind Your Back
X Bob and Wiggle
Part II. Partner Brain Breaks
Bizz Buzz
Hand Shake #1
Hand Shake #2
Hook Ups
Letter Spots
Number Spots Addition
Number Spots Multiplication
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Math Addition
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Math Multiplication
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Math Negative
Say 21 and Win
Slap Count and Say 21 and Win
Slap Count Letters
Slap Count Numbers Going Down
Slap Count Numbers Going Up
Thumb War or Peace
Part III. Group Brain Breaks
Let it Rain
Passing out Papers
Wave Clapping Patterns
Wave Motion
X’s and O’s


Companion Website
Helpful videos as well as downloadable PowerPoint and SMART Board versions can be found on the companion website.

"We use Energizing Brain Breaks in our teacher workshops so they will use them with their students. They enjoy the break and activity as much as their students do!"

Sue and Randy Pippen, Educational Consultants
Pippen Consulting, Plainfield, IL

"This book is AWESOME!!! I feel that every teacher should have one in their classroom. Not only does it give the students a quick break, but they get excited about them. It also has so many choices: whole group, individual, partner, and small group. No matter the age, any student can perform most breaks."

Kathleen Richards, 5th Grade Teacher
Elmwood Elementary School, Naperville, IL

"Energizing Brain Breaks is an excellent resource for quick, simple, and challenging activities that students can do to activate their brain for more optimal learning. Many of the activities were developed by students, for students and really engage the adolescent brain. This is the resource that teachers need to get their students moving in learning."

Jean Blaydes, Educational Consultant/Speaker
Action Based Learning, Murphy, TX

Energizing Brain Breaks is a great teaching tool. I use it daily with my kids. They LOVE the short activities and get so excited. One of their favorites is 'Gotcha.'"

Judy Sterling, 2nd Grade Teacher
Scott Elementary School, Naperville, IL

“Physical movement and academic learning should not be separated. Research shows that physical movement and exercise are beneficial for the brain and learning. Dave Sladkey regularly incorporates movement in his high school math lessons, which helps to make his classroom a vibrant learning atmosphere. I strongly encourage every classroom teacher to use this book as a resource to transform your classroom into a place where students are alert and ready to learn at their full potential!”

Bill Wiesbrook, Principal
Naperville Central High School, IL

“Dave's book is a terrific way to refocus and energize your students in the classroom. I have used his brain breaks in all kinds of settings and every time people smile, laugh, and have fun. This is a must have in any teacher's classroom and in any administrator's meeting!”

Scott Miller, High School Math Teacher/Instructional Coordinator
Naperville Central High School, IL

"I have witnessed the effect of brain breaks in the classroom. After a simple minute or two, students become re-energized and re-engaged in the learning process. Thank you Dave Sladkey for creating a book that simplifies the process of selecting them and understanding them.”

Paul Zientarski, Founder
Learning Readiness Physical Education, Naperville, IL

“I have successfully used Brain Breaks with my school staff and these strategies also have the potential to enhance students’ learning by breaking the lesson into bite-sized chunks, and then turbo-charging the next part of the lesson. On reflection, this important strategy is rarely taught to preservice teachers and it is an area of teaching that can imperil not only the efficacy of the lesson but the teachers’ status in their classrooms.”

Neil MacNeill, Headmaster
Ellenbrook Independent Primary School, Ellenbrook, WA, Australia

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ISBN: 9781452268125