I follow a great teaching blog by Heather Wolpert-Gawron an award winning middle school teacher, writer and teacher trainer. She looks a lot at teenage brains and how we can create classrooms that best suite our students. I recently read an interesting post about the topic which can be found here:
It is part of a three part series on the tween brain.
She talks about the importance of keeping the brain flush with oxygen and gives suggestions for what I like to think of as microbreaks. Some techniques are great and I have tried them on myself and find them very helpful such as:
Taking deep breaths
Yawning before a big task
Moving around in general.
She also offers some less traditional ideas such as having students get up and move chairs, or when the teacher says “stop, drop and write”, students drop to the floor and write down some notes. She also suggests adding random pictures between PPT slides not related to the presentation to catch students attention.
She offers some interesting ideas, I must admit I am hesitant to try some of the less traditional methods in fear of chaos and losing precious time. At the same time you don’t want to fall into the trap of always doing that. I wonder if anyone has tried any of the methods?? What do other people think? Should we try and introduce more microbreaks for our students?