Today I want to talk to you all about music and brain breaks! If you missed Part 1 on Music and Content or Part 2 on Music and Procedures be sure to check them out too! When I first started teaching I don’t think I ever heard the words “brain break.” But over the last few years I’ve heard it more and more. At first I wasn’t sure but the more I thought about the more I realized how necessary they are. As a teacher I want to make the most of every moment I have in that 7 hour day with my students. I expect them to be ready to learn with me the entire day. That’s a lot of brain power. Then I think about myself as an adult. I can give my undivided attention and brain power for a while, but eventually my mind wanders. When I was practicing law I would give all my brain power on a case, but I could get up when I wanted to grab a diet coke or stretch my legs (natural brain breaks). In our structured classroom environment, I would rather give my students structured brain breaks then have them zone out when I need them most!
In my classroom brain breaks almost always involve music and usually movement too! We love to have and be silly. Some of my favorite brain breaks come from Let’s Dance Kids videos that I found on You Tube. What I love about these is not only the fun brain break, but it is actually helping my kids with learning to watch and copy some complex movements. I usually started a new video on Monday and we did the same one all week. It was amazing to see how far they could progress on those motor skills in just a week. My absolute favorite was the Gummy Bear song.
Now that you’ve seen it, just picture my whole class and ME dancing along with smiles on our faces. I look up to see the assistant principal standing in the door way with a puzzled look on his face. I shrugged my shoulders, smiled and kept on dancing. Like I said in a previous post, I am much more uninhibited in a room of 5 year olds! There are quite a few of these videos available.
Another class favorite was the Skip Counting songs by Have Fun Teaching. I showed the skip counting by 10’s song in the Part 1 post. Here’s the Skip Counting by 5’s video.
These are great because they have lots of movement in them but there is learning too! In fact a lot of our brain breaks involved reviewing skills we had already learned while singing and dancing away. I also liked doing brain break songs that involved following directions like these:
It would not be uncommon for me to use all of these and more throughout any given day. Do you have some favorite brain break songs? I’d love to test them out in my classroom! Don’t forget to visit tomorrow for the final post on The Power of Music. In this post I will show you how I get all these songs and videos into my classroom when I can’t access them through the district network.