Added: Leighann Arambula - Date: 22.11.2021 00:21 - Views: 44503 - Clicks: 2262
Regular breaks throughout the school day—from short brain breaks in the classroom to the longer break of recess—are not simply downtime for students. Such breaks increase their productivity and provide them with opportunities to develop creativity and social skills. Students, particularly young ones, often struggle with staying focused for long periods of time.
In a studypsychologist Karrie Godwin and a team of researchers measured how attentive elementary students were during class, and discovered that they spent over a quarter of the time distracted, unable to focus on the teacher or the current task. Shorter lessons, however, kept student attention high: Teachers found it more effective to give several minute lessons instead of fewer minute ones. And there are more benefits to downtime than increased attention: It decreases stress, increases productivity, boosts brain function, and provides opportunities for children to learn social skills.
Further experiments showed that this default mode is crucial for consolidating memories, reflecting on past experiences, and planning for the future—in other words, it helps shape how we make sense of our lives. Breaks keep our brains healthy and play a key role in cognitive abilities such as reading comprehension and divergent thinking the ability to generate and make sense of novel ideas. So breaks are an essential part of learning. But the benefits extend beyond the psychological well-being of students. Particularly for younger students, regular breaks throughout the school day can be an effective way to reduce disruptive behavior.
Both students and teachers benefit from using unstructured breaks to reduce stress. The APA recommends frequent breaks, in addition to other activities such as exercise and mediation. Exercise breaks—whether short activities in the classroom or recess—help promote physical fitness, which in turn boosts brain health. At the time, less than half of U. Bringing together experts across a range of fields, the report made the case for why regular exercise crucially belongs in schools: It not only provides physical health benefits to students but also enhances their cognitive functioning, leading to higher academic performance.
How does exercise improve learning?
Engaging in physical activity increases blood flow and oxygenation in the brain, boosting neural connectivity and stimulating nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, the center of learning and memory. So exercise actually changes the structure of our brainswith a of benefits : improved attention and memory, increased brain activity and cognitive function, and enhanced mood and ability to cope with stress.
Decades of research show that physically active children consistently outperform their inactive peers academically on both a short- and long-term basis. Longer breaks—such as recess or playtime—provide opportunities for children to learn important life skills. Research shows that when children play together, they learn how to take turns, resolve conflicts, and solve problems.
They also learn how to manage their own emotions and behavior—fundamental skills for life.
Unstructured playtime provides an opportunity for imaginary and creative play and allows children to practice divergent thinking. They benefit from the freedom to explore new ideas without fear of failure or the stress of grades, and regular exposure to new experiences can also increase their cognitive flexibility, preparing them for academic challenges. While breaks can help reset student focus, a useful alternative—especially for older students—is to switch teaching strategies throughout a lesson: Try having students team up on a think-pair-share activity or work in groups, spend a few minutes reviewing concepts, or give a low-stakes practice test at the end of a lesson.
Boosting Brain Function Exercise breaks—whether short activities in the classroom or recess—help promote physical fitness, which in turn boosts brain health.
Developing Social Skills Longer breaks—such as recess or playtime—provide opportunities for children to learn important life skills. Incorporating Breaks in Your Classroom Several breaks throughout the day can help students stay focused: If students are getting rowdy or bored, a few moments of exercise in the classroom can reset their attention.Need a break from being smart and serious
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