My students are officially done with testing, YAY! I mentioned previously that my students love taking brain breaks (we call it "PEAK") that involve physical activity. We often do silly videos or dance videos, but when it comes to the BIG 2 1/2 hour tests my kiddos must endure, we turn to this video:
During testing, students are not allowed to talk to each other and because other classes are testing next to us, we have to be silent. I was worried my class wouldn't be able to do this video without talking, so we rehearsed last week. I told them if they were silent then they'd get to do the video as a break. I also turned the volume off on my SMARTBoard so that there was no sound other than body movement. I will use this again next year, especially because my 4th graders said it really helped them. The video is almost exactly 5 minutes which is how long their break must be, which makes it nice for time management reasons. Yesterday, during our reading test, one of my students started to DOZE OFF during her test just a minute before we took our first break. Right after doing this video, she was alert and focused and stayed that way for the remainder of the test (Thank GOD!!). We did this again about 30 minutes later. My other students also said it really helped them focus. In retrospect, I was worried the students would be talking, giggling, etc. but it was the exact opposite because the sound was off so their eyes had to watch the instructors.
This video supports research from the book Brain Gym by Paul E. Dennison and Gail E. Dennison. I have not read the book so I am not 100% familiar with all the reasons why these particular exercises help the brain, but I do know it really helped my students especially the ones with ADHD. What do you do during your testing breaks? Pin this video under your brain breaks board on Pinterest! Don't have one? Create one! Happy Pinning!