Calling all teachers! Are you looking for new ways to combat your students’ decreasing attention spans in late afternoon? Are you looking for a solution to keep students on-task and engaged throughout the school day? Diminishing student attention rates throughout the day is a challenge that will forever face our nation’s teachers- what can we do about it?
The answer is simple: implement a 5-minute energy break into the daily classroom schedule.
Unsurprisingly, student attention rates are lower after longer periods of classroom work without a break. Various studies have shown links between physical activity and increased student concentration rates and on-task behavior during class. An energy break is a quick physical and mental break from academic lessons; students stand beside their desks and engage in simple exercises less than 5 minutes in length. Energy breaks are the ideal opportunity for students to blow off excess energy, refocus and prepare for more academic lessons. When alertness or attentiveness is lagging, energy breaks will get students moving and back on track!
Energy breaks do not require a significant time slot or additional equipment.
Energy breaks are 5 minutes or less in length. Every teacher has 5 minutes to spare at one point in the day. If you don’t agree, keep track of the time your students are off-task and you will find 5 minutes in your daily schedule somewhere!
Teachers create the best solution for their classroom.
With classroom-based physical activity, teachers choose when and how to implement the energy break, allowing them to create the best solution for their classroom. Is the class less focused in the afternoon? Schedule an energy break to boost their mental sharpness! With teachers controlling what works best for their classroom, they have the power to improve classroom behavior and academic achievement and increase students’ physical activity throughout the day!
Energy break exercises are fun, simple and easy-to-implement.
Energy breaks are designed to be easy for the student and the teacher. Exercises can be tailored to the students’ grade level and abilities. Kindergarteners may enjoy “bunny hops” and "the ants go marching in" (marching in place) while fifth-graders may like “ski jumps” and balance exercises. Engage students even more by allowing 5 students to choose an exercises that will be completed for 1 minute (for a total of 5 minutes). Keep a jar of popsicle sticks with exercises listed on them for students to choose from or allow students to pull pieces of paper of exercises from the “Excess Energy Jar”!
When concentration begins to falter and energy levels start dropping, re-engage students with an energy break! Enjoy observing your class become more attentive, better behaved and more physically active through fun exercises!
Would you like to learn other simple methods to energize the student body?