Try Mystery Brain Breaks

This is one of my favorite ways to manage Brain Breaks during the school day. Not only does it add a degree of mystery your students will love, but it also encourages good behavior as they are working for their Bonus Brain Break all day long.

Brain Breaks are a popular topic here on Minds In Bloom, so I'm adding a new twist to them: Mystery Brain Breaks! Your students will love the surprise!

Before the school day begins, choose as many Brain Breaks as you think you will need throughout the day. Put them on your white board in a place where they are easily seen, but not easily reached. Make sure to place them face-down so your students cannot see which Brain Breaks you have selected. Number each one and then choose one more to be the Bonus Brain Break. This should be one that you know your students love – one of their favorites. Put it face-down on the board too, and make it look special.

Brain Breaks are a popular topic here on Minds In Bloom, so I'm adding a new twist to them: Mystery Brain Breaks! Your students will love the surprise!

When you need a brain break, either go in order, starting with number 1, or for an extra bit of randomness, let a student select a number and do that one. By the end of the day, you should have all of your Brain Breaks done except the bonus one.

Brain Breaks are a popular topic here on Minds In Bloom, so I'm adding a new twist to them: Mystery Brain Breaks! Your students will love the surprise!

This is the one they need to earn. You have left a few minutes at the end of the day to do this last Brain Break. If your students have had a good day, they have earned their Bonus Brain Break and you can tell them exactly how awesome they were. “Wow, you were amazing today! You were quiet during work times. I heard some amazing discussions during literature circles, and Mrs. Kelso told me that you were great in music today. You have certainly earned today’s Bonus Brain Break!”  Alternatively, if you are working on a specific behavior, you can set that up at the start of the day. “Today we are going to work on walking quietly and orderly through the halls. If I see good line behavior, we will earn our Bonus Brain Break today.” You might also want to review exactly what that behavior entails so everyone is clear.

Brain Breaks are a popular topic here on Minds In Bloom, so I'm adding a new twist to them: Mystery Brain Breaks! Your students will love the surprise!

Now, what if your students did not have a good day? They were dreadful and there is no way you are going to reward them with a Brain Break. In this case, you can use the few minutes you would have spent doing the Brain Break to discuss what went wrong. Why didn’t we get our Bonus Brain Break and what can we do differently tomorrow? Leave that Bonus Brain Break on the board so that your students have another chance to earn it the next day.

How do you manage your Brain Breaks? Please share with a comment.

And if you would like to try the Brain Breaks featured in this post with your students, you can find them here.

Happy Teaching!

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