Active ‘Brain Breaks’ Increase Focus, Learning, Teachers Say

| May 20, 2015

May 13, 2015 • By Lisa Irish • Arizona Education News Service

When students get antsy, what should a teacher do? Some Arizona teachers have found that giving their students a “brain break” of a few minutes of physical activity not only gets the wiggles out but also sharpens children’s focus and improves their behavior.

“I know how antsy I get from sitting too long and understand the students feel the same way,” said Pearl Stumpf, a third-grade teacher at from Lone Mountain Elementary School in Cave Creek Unified School District. “The brain breaks aren’t anything formal, just a way to rejuvenate our energy.”

Stumpf has given her students brain breaks since she started teaching more than 10 years ago. She does so when she notices them losing attention. “I have the students stand behind their chairs and lead them in some simple exercises,” Stumpf said. “They typically last five minutes and we do everything from stretching to yoga to jumping jacks to push-ups.”

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