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 for kids 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.


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.

A women considers brain breaks for kids to use in her classroom. Photo by Foto Sushi on Unsplash


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

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