Brain Gym and Break States Brain Buttons Exercise Rub your “Brain Buttons” with the thumb and first finger of one hand. (You’ll find these “buttons” at the soft spot under your collarbone) As you rub them, move your eyes (not your head) slowly up and down, i.e. tracking where the ceiling meets the wall to where the floor meets the wall, then left to right and right to left. While you rub your brain buttons, place the first finger and middle finger of your other hand over your navel Rest your tongue against the roof of your mouth and think of something nice. Break States/ Brain Gym Outcomes of this session You will: Understand the rationale for using Brain Gym Understand how to use break states, and brain gym activities in school have the opportunity to practise some brain gym activities Know how to access further information about brain gym. Cross Crawl Standing, begin to “march” in time Raise your knees, and alternately touch each knee with the opposite hand Progressively move your elbows to each knee in sequence. When done slowly this exercise requires fine motor involvement and balance. Research shows that cross crawl improves co-ordination, visual auditory and kinaesthetic ability and can improve listening, writing and memory. Names in the Air With your preferred hand write out your full name in the air, using large movements. Do it forwards and backwards Now use your other hand to write your name with both hands simultaneously.(If you are right handed start in the centre and work out. If you are left handed start at the outside and work in Try this several times before going on to another name or word Do it again but this time with eyes closed. Names in the Air You can use this activity to help learn key words, difficult spellings numbers or formulae This is a left and right brained activity which activated hand-eye co-ordination and assists eye-teaming across the visual mid-line. It helps establish directionality and orientation in space. Movement and Physical Activity Strengthens heart and muscles Improves the flow of blood to the brain and increases the connections between neurons Aids integration of learning and construction of meaning Allows full body-mind integration “Unless learners are in the appropriate learning state, it’s time to stop everything and start changing their states” E. Jenson “Completing the puzzle: A Brain based approach to Learning. Tension Relievers Take a long deep breath through the nose Hold for 2-3 seconds Exhale slowly though the mouth, relaxing the jaw and shoulder muscles and breathing away tension Repeat several times Alphabet Edit Read the letters of the alphabet aloud as a small class or group whilst completing the accompanying action Instructions: l is a left arm raise, r is a right arm raise and t is both arms together Alphabet chart A B C D E F G l t r r t t l H I J K L M N l r t t r l l O P Q R S T U t t l r t r r V W X Y Z t l l l r Hook ups Sitting, put one ankle over the other one Extend your arms with the back of the hands together and thumbs pointing down Lift one hand over the other,palms facing and interlace your fingers Roll the interlocked hands straight down and in towards the body so that they eventually rest on the chest with the elbows down rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind the teeth Sit like this for 1 minute , breathing deeply with your eyes closed Brain Gym and Break States Are an effective way of changing the physical and mental states of the learners in your class Involve physical and mental activity Connect left and right brain and help to improve motor co-ordination. Regular use of Brain Gym can Alleviate stress improve eye-hand co-ordination improve concentration on focussed activities quicken the response time to visual stimuli.