4 Brain Breaks for the Virtual Classroom

Oct 26, 2023
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Even years after the pandemic, many students still attend hybrid schools, online classes, and 100% virtual classes and schools. This means hours in front of a screen for many students, highlighting the need for brain breaks that offer a bit more time away from the screen to relax and re-energize.

It is important to take brain breaks throughout the day. This gives your students, and yourself, the chance to unplug. Next time you just need a break or a chance to refocus, try one of these brain breaks perfect for the virtual classroom.

1. Virtual Dance Party

Your students probably love music, and luckily, that makes this brain break an easy-to-execute win. 

When you feel your students may need a quick brain break, pull up a happy playlist or a kid-friendly album and have everyone get out of their seats and dance for one song.

Implementation Tips: Make it a game by randomly freezing the music. If a student doesn’t stop when the music ends, they have to sit down. The last student standing at the end of the song wins some bragging points. You could also make this a get-to-know-you activity by allowing your students to share their favorite (school-appropriate) song and make it a playlist of tunes you know they’ll enjoy.

2. “Passing Time” Brain Break

This is a simple (but often overlooked) brain break. We forget that many virtual students have lost “passing time” in their school days, so if this isn’t built into your school’s virtual learning schedule, make sure you take time out of your remote learning plan to allow students to get up and do what they need to do in their home. 

Let your students know that they have some free time to grab a snack or a sweater, use the bathroom, or run to another room for something. Tell them that they have however many minutes to do whatever they’d like but that you will be starting the lesson once that time is up, so they should be back at their computers by then. 

This will ideally keep students from getting up at random throughout your remote lesson.

3. Virtual Scavenger Hunt

A quick web search for virtual scavenger hunts will provide hundreds of results. You can make this a full-day activity or just have students quickly find three items to get them up and moving around.

Implementation tip: Challenge yourself to tie in what your students are learning to the items you ask students to find. For example, if you’re teaching geometry or shapes, have students find an object in the shape of a cylinder. My first thought is a Pringles can; what’s yours?

4. Alphabet Game

For this brain break, have students stand up in front of their computers and put their view back to grid mode. All you have to do is call out letters and have students try to make those letters with their bodies. 

No one way is correct, and it will be entertaining for you to see all the ways they go about moving their bodies to make the right letter.

Looking for more student engagement ideas? Be sure to browse Edmentum’s Free Resources page for fun, interactive toolkits, downloadables and more.

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