In recent years, taking time to give students a brain break has become a common practice in many classrooms, at home, and other places. When students work hard or give 100% to a particular task, they are often rewarded with a brain break for a few minutes. This practice may be somewhat controversial; some people may consider the time spent on a brain break to be a waste of time when there are so many important things to teach and learn during the school day and never enough time to cover it all. Others may consider a brain break as essential to the learning process to give students an opportunity to step away, move, relax a few minutes, and come back ready to continue learning. It turns out that research has found that brain breaks serve several purposes and actually help increase recall of material, among other things. During a brain break the brain continues to work.
Students who are gifted have the same need for brain breaks as other students do. Students who are gifted may have brains that appear to never shut off or relax because there is so much to learn in the world, or because they are so focused on their area of interest, among other reasons. These students need brain breaks, too, in order to allow their brains to do the work needed to absorb and recall what is being learned.
An article from Edutopia (below) talks about brain breaks and provides links to several studies. Take a look at the article, investigate the research, and consider giving your student a few brain breaks during the day. In fact, consider taking a brain break yourself - to refresh yourself and your learning.
We Drastically Underestimate the Importance of Brain Breaks
Youki Terada, 4/21/2022, Edutopia
Studies Referenced in the Edutopia Article:
Consolidation of Human Skill Linked to Waking Hippocamp-Neocortical Replay
2021 Study, Buch, Claudino, Quentin, Bonstrup, and Cohen
Open Access: DOI:
Cognitive Fatigue Influences Students’ Performance on Standardized Tests
2016 Study, PNAS-Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA
Silversten, Gino, and Piovesan,
Rats Dream About Their Tasks During Slow Wave Sleep
2001 Study, MIT News, 5/18/2002, M. Wilson
Dr. Wanda Routier
Former Board Member, WATG
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