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JAM a Minute

Tonya Krause,   Kleberg Elementary School
Physical Activity Participation

Teachers often believe that if they pause for a break during instruction, students will find it hard to refocus. After attending a training, we saw a slide of brain scans of a student taking a test before physical activity and one of a student who had done no physical activity taking a test. The cells of the brain were much more activated in the student that had exercised right before the exam! We took this training back to our campus and showed staff. Now, we have a lot more teachers allowing brain breaks in the classroom, and have even implemented the JAM a Minute, where our principal comes over the announcements, plays music, and we get to stand and dance for a minute. These minutes add up, and hopefully, we will also see an increase in student health and student achievement.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Getting all of our teachers to realize that is was okay to pause from instruction. We overcame these challenges by teachers' research that brain cells are actually more active after the brain breaks.

How did you accomplish your goals?

Our goal was to have brain breaks in the classroom. We showed teachers the research showing brain breaks would build instruction and improve focus, especially in the hard-to-focus students. Then, we did a few brain breaks.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

We plan to continue our brain breaks all year by highlighting classes we see doing the brain breaks, and also by the principal, coach, and counselor going in and participating in these brain breaks as well.