We know that testing season can be exhausting, but it's important to keep spirits high between changing schedules, last-minute test prep, and sharpening all those pencils.
It can be easy to get caught up in all of the little things, especially when there's so much to do. I've definitely been guilty of squeezing in a few more practice problems at the expense of a brain break. But just remember, if you are feeling tired, so are your kiddos! Giving time and space for everyone to take a break can not only benefit your mental health, but it can also give your students the mental boost they need to ace their exams!
Here are some tips for breaking up the day and keeping you and your students refreshed!
Stretching isn't just beneficial after a workout! It is great for your body, but it's also great for your brain. Stretching can promote relaxation while boosting energy which is the perfect pairing for getting your students in the right mindset. Queue up this quick 4-minute video so you can join in and reap the benefits too!
We breathe all day long, but how often do you take a second to really focus on your breath? Deep breathing can decrease anxiety and stress and improve focus. Teaching these skills to students will not only help them get in the right mindset for testing, but it also gives them a tool that they can use for the rest of their lives to recenter and reset. Combine movement and breath with this 4-minute mindfulness video.
With all of the stress and added pressure during testing season, making jokes and laughing can be the last thing on your mind. Laughing not only reduces stress and improves mood but can also strengthen relationships and provide a brief distraction. Take 2 minutes to giggle at David after dentist or ask your students what latest viral video is going around.
You know that feeling you get when you go to a sporting event, and they play a pump-up video that makes you want to jump out of your seat and run onto the field? Recreate that feeling and get your students excited by sharing some words of wisdom and how proud you are of them. Speeches not your thing? Pop on this classic 3-minute pep talk from Kid President and let him do the talking.
Want more ideas? Leverage your students! Use this time for different jobs to present their expertise! Have the class "Doctor" lead a stretching session, get the "Environmental Specialist" to share some ways to be environmentally conscious, or have the "Librarian" share a book that the class might enjoy. This helps break up the day, and it also empowers students to be the ones leading the class. Or just hire a "Brain Break Boss" and sit back and relax while your students take over 😉.
Want to incorporate some of these jobs into your classroom? Check out our post on how to create meaningful jobs here!