We are in unprecedented times with more and more students engaging in distance or e-learning. Are you struggling to get them back on task, or working to find a movement break formula that actually works? Read on, we've got answers.
This formula allows the brain and body to become engaged, and allows for a transition to and from movement which supports regulation. So how does it do that?
When we are using our brains to concentrate on something, we don't have an unlimited ability to pay attention. Eventually, we have to use something called conscious control and work to help our brains focus. The longer we use this, the harder we have to work. Movement breaks are a great way to reset the brain and fill up the conscious control tank. Often at the time, we use a movement break we have children who are starting to move to the hypo alert state which is more distracted and disengaged. If we just jump up and start moving, they may shift through the states of regulation too quickly and get over-excited.
Starting with drawing helps to move this along at a better pace. If you have a shorter window of time, try to keep the 1:3 ratio of drawing/art to movement. Utilizing things like crawling, twisting, turning, push-ups, cross-lateral movements, and free play is great at activating the attention areas of the brain as well as bringing the brain and body into the alert state and ready to learn.
Finally, using another simple drawing activity to help kids downshift into concentration mode will help decrease the "too excited" phase of play. Using this time to connect the brain and the body is a great way to work in mindfulness. What color do you feel? Draw how your lungs feel. Can you draw something that slows down your heart? Come up with your own ideas for this and share in the comments below!