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We need a break! the effect of brain breaks on elementary st

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Nicole De La O

on 18 November 2014

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Transcript of We need a break! the effect of brain breaks on elementary st

Purpose of Study
The purpose of this action research project was to enhance and improve student achievement in the classroom through the use of brain breaks to optimize class time.

Question: To what extent do brain breaks affect students' ability to remain focused and attentive in math environment?
Room 4 Stats
All 23 of my first graders participated in this study.
All students are in the same classroom throughout the school day.
No student in Room 4 has been introduced to brain breaks in the past.
Concluding Thoughts
Overall, it was seen that students enjoyed their time with the brain breaks and that transferred to their performance in class.
Attention increased on a weekly basis with not only helped their math computation, but their focus and attentiveness for the rest of the day.

The Issue Explained
School, for the entirety of its existence, has helped prepare students for many different purposes.
Heightening career chances
Independent involvement in communities
Solve problems
Make decisions for themselves

Being able to optimize student learning is crucial.

We need a break! the effect of brain breaks on elementary students
Brain Breaks
Brain Breaks are one way teachers can help their students remain focused and attentive throughout the day.

They allow for short segments of physical activity during the school day to help students stay alert and ready to learn.

Giving students the opportunity for low impact or moderate activity throughout the day will allow their blood to start pumping and give them more energy overall to complete a task.
Enough Talking About Them...
Let's look at some!

Our first grade classroom has 23 active little minds-6 girls and 17 boys (yes, 17).
5% of our students fell below the first grade reading level of 1.0 based off STAR testing in September.
Ethnic Breakdown:
1 African American
2 Asian
10 Hispanic
10 Caucasian.
The importance of brain breaks and physical education in general in schools is a prominent topic of educational research today.
Due to the direct correlation between physical activity and educational achievement, it is important for teachers to take initiative to incorporate small activities throughout the day.
What research says
"The association between physical activity, fitness, fatness, and academic achievement provides a unique opportunity to intervene and provide programs that both improve health and academic performance" (Donnelly and Lambourne, 2011).

"Students' academic intrinsic motivation is more malleable between the ages of 9 and 11 years, whereas from age 13 onwards and through adolescence it is more difficult to change. In addition, students with very low levels of academic intrinsic motivation at a young age tend to stabilize their beliefs before the age of 13" ( Vazou, Gavrilou, Mamalaki, Papanastasiou, and Sioumala, 2012).
All physical activity was age appropriate and contain the right amount of activity.
Brain Breaks used in class do not permit students to touch other students.
Brain Breaks are introduced about 20 minutes in to our math class.
"On my own" assessment: handout given from McGraw Hill given to students after the material has been presented on a given lesson to test student knowledge and understanding of topic.

Teacher notes: Tally Marks made throughout math period given when redirection needs to happen.

Student Survey: Four questions asking students how they felt about the brain breaks.
"On my own" Assessment Graph. This figure illustrates the progression of class weekly averages on the assessment
Teacher Notes Count. This figure illustrates the number of times teacher had to redirect her students starting before the brain break occurred and afterward.
More time would have allowed to see if student achievement could be furthered throughout the year.
Another limitation for this student was the space permitted in the classroom.
Due to our high volume of desks, the student range of motion was really limited and different activities could have been used if space permitted.
Next Steps
I will continue to use brain breaks in my classroom based of the feedback I received.
Going forward, I hope to be able to see which kinds of breaks and movements are most beneficial for students and which durations with best to obtain the highest amount of student alertness and achievement.
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