Are you having trouble keeping your middle school students focused?

Kids' attention decreases as lessons extend beyond 10 to 30 minutes of class time.

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💡 Offer brain breaks to help increase attention in your students.

Brain breaks are short breaks from classroom instruction that may help students refocus and boost their learning!

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These 3 types of age-appropriate brain break strategies will help recharge your middle school classroom.

Strategy #1: Movement Breaks

If you have a group of kids who constantly fidget or thrive when doing hands-on activities, consider brain breaks that offer movement.

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  • Try a peer challenge like rock, paper, scissors!

  • Or have students start a thumb war class challenge!

  • Quick exercise breaks are a great way to burn off energy fast.

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  • Jumping jacks

  • Stretches or yoga poses

  • Classroom dance party

  • Scheduled walk around the school

  • Tabletop push-ups

💡 Some kids might benefit from taking part in mindfulness-based exercises or sensory activities.

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Strategy #2: Creative Breaks

Let students get creative for a few minutes, especially if you want to encourage them to think outside of the box!

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  • Doodling can happen with just a pencil and paper and does not require student movement.

  • Coloring is calming and allows students to play with different color schemes.

  • Creative writing and journaling allow students to use their imagination. Stay away from academic prompts!

💡 Check out these non-academic writing prompts.

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Strategy #3: Brainpower Breaks

If kids love being challenged, give them a break that requires them to use their brains in a different way!

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  • Sign language can be learned a little at a time during each break.

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  • Triviaquestions can be a fun break as long as they are not related to the subject or lesson.

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💡Check out this list of the best quiz and gameshow apps for classrooms.

Scenario

Ms. Richards has a high energy 7th grade class. They struggle to focus for more than ten minutes at a time. She notices they're constantly moving in their seats. Her most successful lessons include hands-on activities.

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Quiz

Which brain break would work best for the kids in Ms. Richard’s class?

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