Movement Break and Mindful Minute

Movement Break Activity: To get rid of any extra energy or to wake them up if they have been sitting too long. Make sure that the students are aware of why you are using a movement break. I often have them look around the room at each other and see if they can judge the overall energy level of the class. If you feel that the students are regulated and that an active break is not needed, I would encourage you to do it anyway as a rehearsal for when it is needed.

Students do not learn well when they are dysregulated, so waiting until then to introduce movement breaks is counterproductive. (See “A Word About Breaks” below.)

Mindful Minute: Repeat the above mindful listening activity to “regulate” and be ready to work. It is a good practice to follow movement breaks with brief mindfulness activities.

  A Word About Breaks:    Scheduled breaks (of all kinds) are more effective than unscheduled breaks. The latter is often used as a strategy when things go “sideways”. Usually, if you can thoughtfully schedule breaks before a student needs them, you can avoid having to use an unscheduled break. However, this should not prevent you from using breaks as a strategy whenever they might be helpful!   Waiting until a break is “needed” (i.e. when they are dysregulated), may increase student anxiety about: a “change” in schedule, or learning a “new thing”, ordoing something “different” or “unexpected”. These are all probable triggers for further escalation.   Some students will need another activity between the break and the mindful activity if they become over-stimulated/aroused during “fun” or “loud” movement breaks. For these students, consider either: adding an activity in the middle that requires them to follow a direction. Following simple, familiar calm-down routine, or asking them to get a drink of water, etc.a more structured break or alternate break that is less arousing. In this case, going for a walk to the water fountain may be a better movement activity than a dance video, for example.