Sunday, August 26, 2012


Every so often, I take a day away from my day job as the counselor and character coach at Westwood-Bales Elementary School to go and give a workshop, keynote, or breakout session, and my emphasis is always on Singing, Dancing, Laughing, and Connecting.

Let's look at the dance part of that equation. Why dance? Physical activity actually awakens the brain and releases chemicals that magically open it up and prime it for learning. 

If you haven't read Brain Rules by John Medina or Spark by John Ratey, do yourselves a favor and check out these two books.

So how does that translate into the classroom with our little sprouts? Essentially, we've got to MOVE them all day long! Here are some resources to help make that happen. Do you know the song Tony Chestnut? I had my keynote participants in Alabama try it with me and I found that even grown-up brains are challenged by this one! Here's an cute clip that I found on You Tube, performed by the class of 2021:

Brain break books for purchase abound, but there are also free resources online for creative ways to fire the dendrites in your little learners. You'll want to bookmark the Energizing Brain Breaks blog and the Minds In Bloom site for some quick brain breaks. The Michigan Department of Health has this moving Brain Breaks site. Take a Shake Break with Pancake Manor and don't forget to let your brainiacs go bananas with Dr. Jean's Banana Dance! 

What are your favorite go-to strategies to ignite brain activity in your little learners? Leave a comment below! For more character-infused ideas, come on by The Corner on Character.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE these sorts of activities! Thanks for the great resources, Barbara! I pinned your post to the collaborative Get Kids Moving Board at
    Deb @


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