Brain breaks and focused attention practices help students feel relaxed and ready to learn, these practices benefits each and every student as they prepare to learn. Brain breaks generate a sense of relaxed alertness, while on the other hand, focused attention practices help students in slowing down and focusing on a stimulus, which enhances their decision-making functions of constant attention and emotional guidelines. These practices address discipline proactively, before any problems arise.
Teaching students via these activities, would help them develop alertness, they would be more relaxed and focused which would eventually make them ready to learn.
Peeling an Orange: To start off, teachers could give every student, an orange to peel off and then ask them to guess what they might be doing for the next couple of minutes before eating the fruit. Teachers might also prompt in questions like, “How this Orange is like our brain”?
Next the teachers could ask them to hold the orange behind their backs, or just close their eyes and peel of the fruit without looking at it. Was it easy for them to peel? Was it harder than it appeared? Were they able to peel it without splitting the fruit? How fast were the kids while doing so? These questions and activities when answered and done respectively make the brain of the kids relaxed and then they would be ready to learn.
Paired mirror drawings: This exercise is fun and relaxing at the same moment, let the kids find a partner. Provide each student with a pen or pencil and sheet of paper and then make them sit facing their partner. One student has to lead and the other would just follow for the time being, the roles could be switched later. The leader has to draw an image related to the subject matter of class and then the follower has to repeat the drawing and has to guess what the leader was trying to represent.
This fun activity might ease the pressure on the students, which is developed from conventional teaching methods and the drawing could also be used by them to participate in many online art competitions for kids.
Pouring water into the cups: Teachers could provide two small paper cups to the students and ask them to fill one cup with water and then transfer that water into the another cup back-and-forth, after they find rhythm in pouring, teachers could ask them to close their eyes and repeat the activity again, a timer of 30 seconds could be set and after the time is up the teachers could check that which students is left with water in their cups.
This exercise helps the students to develop more focus towards their work and then their brains would be trained to relax and learn more.
Focused attention practices
Breathing: Breathing is a great practice people do to relax their minds and attain more focus, kids would also get benefitted from these, allow them to raise their hands high in the air and then inhale deeply, ask them to hold their breaths for 5 seconds. As they exhale, ask them to slowly place their hands at the back of their neck and massage it. The exercise could be repeated to feel more and more relaxed.
Hand tracing: Allow the kids to have a marker and then trace their non-dominant hand without lifting the marker, ask them to repeat the activity until they become more and more calm. The kids should focus on their breathing for better results.
Melting an Ice cube: In this exercise, teachers have to give each student a small ice cube to place in their mouths, and then ask the students to melt the ice in their mouths, without chewing or crushing it. To enhance the experience, teachers could boost them with sentences like, “imagine the worry or concern melting away with the ice chip”. This would make the students feel more relaxed.
Focusing on balance: Ask the kids to stand on one foot while holding the other foot in the air. Ask them to rise their foot with each breath, have them pay attention on how high they can raise their foot.
All these exercises help in relaxing the brain of kids and develop their focus on the activities they are doing. This would gradually increase their focus and then they would be ready for the learning to begin.