Hi, friends! Last week, I chatted about my top 5 go-to games that involve no tech. I hope you were able to find some inspiration from those. This week, I want to talk about movement breaks. Just like in-person students need playground/outside time, online students need breaks. I learned pretty quickly when I started to teach online that movement breaks were essential during lessons.
Movement breaks also have to be an individual choice for our students. I found out right away that some students want to jump up and down and some kids might just want a stretching activity. 🧘♀️ We really need to find what works for each of our students. We individualize learning, and we need to still do this with movement breaks. We want these breaks to work. Our students need to refresh their minds for a moment, stretch out the kinks, wake themselves up for optimal success. So, we really need to pay attention to all of their needs.
During my first time online using a movement break, I went to GoNoodle for the break. It is an amazing resource for some kids and classrooms, don't get me wrong, but it just did not work for me and I'll explain why. After going on GoNoodle, it froze. My student complained about it freezing up and that they couldn't really see it. Then, when they saw all of the choices on GoNoodle, they wanted to try each and every one. I was stuck. 🤷♀️ This took extra time away from my lesson and stopped the smooth flow of it which is essential for learning success.
0Finally, I made my own movement breaks, without all the distracting tech. Here are my 5 go-to movement breaks that are low tech and allows you to easily stay in control. 😊 (Oh, keep reading for the link to the fun Back to School word game I'm sharing with you this week.)
Dance It Out
Let your students dance to their favorite song! 💃 When you see them getting a little bit sleepy and slouchy, ask Siri or Alexa to play their favorite song. I like this because this is low tech and you're in control of how long the break lasts.
2 Minute Draw
There are some students that, if you took a survey, would say that exercise is just not their thing. They would rather quietly draw when they become frustrated. A two minute drawing break really helps some students. Again, breaks also need to be personalized. So, whether they are drawing on the whiteboard or on a piece of paper at home, this is their ideal break.
Stretch It Out/Flower Picking Flowers🌸
Ok, I admit that I come to the screen with a lot of energy, and it took one little girl to show me that not every student wants this kind of energetic lesson at 7 o'clock at night, especially after a long school day. This particular student wanted to have more of a stretching/yoga kind of movement break. You can apply different types of movement breaks to any of my FREE games. For example, a few weeks back, I released my FREE camping word card game. I always include a movement component in my games and let my students be in charge of the movement.
In this game, the backpack would be more of stretching to the side to fill up the backpack movement. The s'mores might be stretching out your arms. This student also made up some great stretches. Some of them I will include in future games and activities. If you missed that game and would like to use it in your teaching, download it HERE 🏕! Tag me on Instagram when you use it. For flower picking, she slowly bent over and picked up the 💐 as she touched her toes. We have to think about what our students need. Not everybody wants to jump around, no matter what time of day it is. I also found that I actually enjoyed these quieter movements later in the day.
🎉 Celebration Second
This is a movement break that I use as an incentive for students to practice their reading. If they are struggling to get through the last bit, we celebrate after they're finished. We celebrate their accomplishment! I also let them choose the song or movement break for us to do together. Tip: students love to see their teachers dance.
Cluck Like a 🐔 Chicken
If you have some older students, this movement break might just be for you. A lot of older students will say that they just don't want to move, but they still need a pick-me-up. They might be tired from basketball practice or just a long day, but they need an incentive to keep going. Like I said above, students like to see their teachers act silly. 😜 One of my students loved to see me cluck like a chicken. I know, so silly. And, no you won't see a video of me doing this. 😉 After his reading, I just did it, and it worked! I'll cluck like a chicken all day if it motivates my students to read! What silly things do you do to motivate your students? Come on, we all do something. Share in the comments. For younger students, you can also call out animal names for them to act like. Just don't say act like a 🐍 snake, they might already be doing that; slithering down in their seats out of the video screen. 😉
It really doesn't take a lot of technology to add a moving break into your lesson, but the benefits are HUGE! Sometimes, the more tech you use, even if it seems fun, actually makes things more complicated. So, keep things in control, keep your students happy, and try using one of these movement breaks in your next lesson! I'm also sharing a Back to School word game with you this week for FREE! Click HERE ✏️ to download.
Do you use any movement breaks now? Comment below and share!
Have a great week!