Guest Post: The One Week Educational Break Challenge

By Dale Sidebottom
Twitter @DaleSidebottom

The one week education break challenge is simple, exciting and challenging all in one. The aim of this challenge is to start, finish and break lessons up, which are over an hour in duration with different educational breaks. The three types of educational breaks that you will be using are, BrainBreaks, Team Building Breaks and Education Breaks. The challenge for the week is to try one of the three breaks per day, to see if the following areas improve within your class:

• Focusing
• Listening
• Staying Positive
• Creativity
• Decision Making
• Problem Solving
• Communication
• Memorisation and Recall
• Comprehension
• Coordination
• Self-esteem

Research and evidence are listed below showing the benefits of these educational breaks. The educational breaks you can use are listed in the following two apps.
MathBreak and LiteracyBreak, if you don’t teach either of these two subjects then
change the challenge to two BrainBreaks and one Team building Break per day.
BrainBreak has been designed with exercises to help students and teachers take
a quick break and return to their work refreshed and empowered to learn. Each
exercise has been designed to get maximum oxygen and energy to students to
improve focus, energy levels and work satisfaction. BrainBreak will increase posture
control, general motivation and class teamwork within the classroom, incorporating short movement activities that allow students to get their “wiggles” out and focus on the next learning activity.

When students are kept active, their energy levels remain up and their brains are
provided with the oxygen-rich blood needed for highest performance. Optimal conditions are not promoted for those students whose teachers insist that they remain
seated during the entire class period. Of course, most classrooms normally depend on
activities that focus on verbal or analytical aptitude, but studies have shown that when
the children participate in activities that use the body, the brain is encouraged to make
use of a variety of intelligences, including rhythmical and visual-spatial. In addition,
this practice seems to improve long-term recall.

The exercises in the educational breaks attempt to balance the right and left sides
of the brain, each side controlling different types of thinking. (A ‘left-brained’
person is said to be more logical, analytical and objective, while a ‘right-brained’
person is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful and subjective.) This then leads
to a better coordination between both sides of the brain and the body, enabling
the students to find equilibrium. By consciously activating the whole mind/body
system, the BrainBreak activities stimulate nervous system activity equally in all
parts of the brain and lessen the fight/ flight reaction. Students will recover their innate interest in learning when it is stress free and be motivated to again achieve learning goals.

Clinical experience, field studies and published reports have shown that
educational break activities prepare students with the physical skills required to
learn to read, write and function in the classroom effectively.

At the end of the week after using these educational breaks with your students ask
for feedback, and check to see if the students felt improvements in their:

• Focusing
• Listening
• Staying Positive
• Creativity
• Decision Making
• Problem Solving
• Communication
• Memorisation and Recall
• Comprehension
• Coordination
• Self-esteem

Here are some of the resources you can use to take the challenge, all of them can
be found on iTunes and the Google Play store:


ClassBreak is full of team building, time filler and group games that are perfect for
injecting motivation and fun into the classroom.

brain break

BrainBreak has 11 different categories to energise and challenge student minds.


MathBreak has over 50 different dice, card and group mathematical games which are fun and easy to play.

literacy break

LiteracyBreak has over 70 different writing, spelling and group literacy games providing a fun element whilst learning.

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