When I post things, I often assume if what I put out there, especially with respect to brain breaks, already exists. So I am not taking credit for either of these ideas, because I'm sure someone else has thought of them before! Nonetheless, maybe with one more avenue of delivery or little reminder, they will move closer to the frontal lobe of teachers' brains and they'll implement them soon!
(Another post on Brain Breaks here.)
Aller-Retour/Chocolate - eyes closed
This is a classic language Brain Break. (I was so happy when I figured out a decent French modification for the Spanish Chocolate, and you can see this in action in my classes in the videos in this post.)
Annabelle (née Allen) Williamson's also has a blog post on this Brain Break.
The other day, when I had to be a student's partner because we had an odd number of kids in the class, I thought mid-play, "HEY! What if we were to try this with our eyes closed?!?!?!" Boom: added challenge.
Papier, caillou, ciseaux - teacher vs. class
Again, another staple Brain Break in many language classes. (And again, Annabelle has more variations here.) It's a fun one, but sometimes we just need a change. (And again, I'm 99% sure this is floating out there on multiple blogs. But again, even if it's a reminder for some, this post is worth it!) Soooo...the other day, when I wanted something super SUPER quick, we did it with a modification: me vs. the class! Students stand up where they are, and we do a giant game. I count (like a normal round-un, deux, trois, voilà!) and put out my rock, paper, or scissors on voilà. Students do the same, and whoever "loses" against me (i.e. puts out paper if I put out scissors) has to sit down. We can often get it so kids are eliminated and I end up playing against one student for a final round. But I never "get out." I explain to the kids that because I'm the teacher, I'm invincible!
LIFE HACK: I have found through personal experience that LOTS of kids start with scissors. If I happen to play when we do the "snake" version of this, I usually win the whole thing because of this little trick.
Do you have any other minor changes to other brain breaks that we can add to our toolbox?
Allison Litten, the 2019 VFLA TOY, teaches French at the Marion Cross School, a public PreK-6 school in Norwich, Vermont. This is her twenty-third year teaching, and twentieth at Marion Cross.