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The neural pathways of the brain in an MRI.

Are Brain Breaks The New Wave?

October 19, 2022

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School can easily drain a student’s energy, and after a 90-minute class students can feel almost numb to everything going on around them. One thing that can help is for students to take regular brain breaks to give their brain time to rest and process everything.

“I think students should get brain breaks because sometimes in class I get really bored or really energetic out of nowhere. One thing I use for brain breaks is I ask my teacher if I can walk around for a bit, then come back,” said senior Jackson Garnett.

According to Understood.org, “Short brain breaks during work time have been shown to have real benefits. They reduce stress, anxiety, and frustration. They can help kids focus and be more productive. Brain breaks can also help kids learn to self-regulate and be more aware of when they’re getting fed up or losing track of what they’re doing.”

Taking regular brain breaks throughout the day has been proven to increase productivity and reduce stress on a student’s brain. Students may need a movement break to get the wiggles out of their systems, or they could benefit from a doodle break to draw what’s on their minds. Some students may even want to just sit there and do nothing but close their eyes for a couple of minutes.

Why don’t students take more brain breaks? According to StudentCenteredWorld.com, teachers may be reluctant to offer them. “High school teachers seem to be the ones who show the most resistance to this concept of good, meaningful brain break ideas. The common misconception is that taking a few minutes to perform one of these brain break games for high school will completely disrupt the flow of the classroom,” the site notes. However, they also point out that brain breaks don’t have to be disruptive or even anything elaborate to make a difference. “As a general rule, it isn’t necessary to have a full-out dance party to implement physical brain breaks,” the site adds.
Allowing high school students to have planned brain breaks can help them stay more focused and more productive with the tasks at hand. They just need to be something that helps students get oxygen flowing to their brains. For example, a FCHS CTE teacher Ben Hudson said he often takes his students on walks throughout the day to give their brains a break. Other teachers try to have five minute breaks in the middle of the 90-minute block, or make lesson plans that have three or more different activities during a class. This not only provides variety, but also gives students mini breaks as the teacher shifts between activities.
Teachers who give their students regular brain breaks may find that students are more likely to respect them and work harder for longer periods of time. Students may also be less likely to be drained out and more likely to learn.
Even if your teacher doesn’t do brain breaks, these are some things you can do in class on your own, such as standing up (which gets your blood flowing to your brain), eating a healthy snack, or drinking some water.

For ideas of what students or teachers can do to practice utilizing brain breaks during the school day, go to StudentCenteredWorld.com.

Ultimate Guide to Brain Break Activities

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About the Contributor
Photo of Branden Jackson
Branden Jackson, Journalist

Branden is in 12th grade, this is his first year in Journalism. In his free time, he likes to ride four wheelers and watch sports. His favorite TV show...

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