Given the wall of text that was my reflections on myself as beginning teacher, I thought I’d follow up with a quick idea you can take and use right away.
I love the ideas flying around everywhere for brain breaks over the last couple of years. I even attended part of a conference session last year on brain breaks, and the session was almost completely silent, with just a few French words thrown in here and there. It was basically a demonstration of brain break after brain break that needed very little explanation, just demonstration – such as kids throwing markers into a plastic bin on your head!
This one does require English or some target language comprehension, but it’s fun and fast. The idea of 5 Second Rule is that you name a category and the person has five seconds to name five things in that category. As learners build language, they’ll be able to do more and more of this in the target language, but at first, it doesn’t really matter – the point is to “reset” the learning cycle and recapture attention.
Five seconds to name three breakfast foods – GO.
Five seconds to name three types of shoes – GO.
Five seconds to name three things you need to play soccer – GO.
The first time we did this brain break in my class, my learners wanted to know why. When I said it was a brain break, the student said
That’s the thing about Spanish class, I don’t even need a break. We just have so much fun in here.
Well, I mean, that’s what she thinks, but I’ll take the compliment!
Five seconds to tell us three more fun brain breaks – GO!