Pause And Learn
The pandemic had certainly been a chaotic and scary experience in all aspects. Abrupt transitions from offices and classrooms to home were least expected. Although these transitions were a sign of convenience & safety, the physical & mental strain has been beyond comprehension. This realization inspired educators from the best Short Breaks CBSE schools like Babaji Vidhyashram School, to create wellness practices that could bring calm to classrooms.
One such compilation of mental wellness practices is PAUSE (Practice Awareness And Understanding Self Exercises). The program benefits both educators and students as they learn to improve their mental and physical health and develop a positive outlook on life. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of taking Short breaks and how to implement them.
The benefits of Taking breaks in the classroom
1. Enhances overall wellness
Conventional classrooms inculcate a sedentary lifestyle. Many students spend all day at their desks in the classroom. Lack of movement does more than deteriorating physical health. It can also severely impact concentration. Adding frequent breaks to the schedule and encouraging students to move around can improve their overall wellness.
3. Decreases juvenile obesity
Extensive time spent in a classroom with no physical activity leads to juvenile obesity, which is extremely dangerous. They harm kids not only physically but also emotionally. Kids may become lethargic and develop low self-esteem as a result. Taking a break encourages kids to get active, sweat out their excess fat, and reduce the chance of juvenile obesity.
3. Increases attention span
Dreary minds are often inattentive and lack focus. Taking frequent breaks can help kids stay focused. Playing games or taking breaks can improve memory and encourage reciprocal learning.
4. Facilitates creative thinking
Including focus-attention practices during break time can encourage students to think creatively. Breathing exercises are a good example. Known as brain exercises, these practices help kids develop the skill of concentrating only on the task at hand. It instills self-awareness, a prerequisite for creativity.
Scheduling frequent breaks not only helps kids to stay focused, but also helps teachers to stay focused and promote better learning. Here’s how.
Offering Teachers A Moment Of Calm
Classrooms can be chaotic and engender stress that disturbs you throughout the day and make you less focused. Stress decimates productivity in the workplace. Try these mindfulness practices followed by top IGCSE schools like International Village School.
- Start your day by taking a deep breath
- Place a hand on your heart and be grateful about being alive & healthy
- Next, place your hand on your belly and breathe deeply through your nose before slowly exhaling through your mouth
- Feel the gentle rise and fall of your body as you breathe in and out
- Chant a positive mantra along with the breathing exercise
You should practice the above exercise first thing in the morning, at noon, and at the end of the day. Practice this in a quiet room with dimmed lights and soft music playing. You should also share this practice’s positive effects with your students.
Creating Calming Moments For Students
Here is a five-step practice to promote calm among students.
1. The 3-minute check-in activity
The check-in process is the best way to gauge the well-being of students quickly. During the morning greeting, introduce a 3-minute connection activity consisting of breathing exercises and a “one-word share.” Before you begin the activity, explain how kids should choose their words. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do this activity.
- The first minute of the activity should be devoted to breathing exercises.
- Ask your class to scan their bodies from head to toe and relax each body part as they continue the breathing exercise in the second minute. This practice can improve self-awareness.
- During the third minute of the activity, each participant shares their words. Let the students share their chosen words with their respective groups and discuss their meanings.
Kids can improve their social awareness, listening skills, and empathy by practicing the activity in groups. Additionally, the process helps students cope with their internal anger, worry, and frustration, which leads to calmness and stronger relationships.
2. Practicing Mindfulness
Being mindful means being in the present moment. Although integrating mindfulness into classrooms can be a daunting task, it is worth the effort. It is possible to introduce mindfulness into the classroom by creating an inviting space for kids to share experiences. Mindful eating, sharing stories, or even a quiet walk together could all be part of this. These activities can enrich their day while allowing them to appreciate everything they do.
3. Pause and Short Breaks
Encourage students to take short breaks or pauses to help them breathe and calm their minds. You can do this when it is about to get hectic. Short breaks can help students to manage their stress and improve their self-regulation. You can also use cards printed with suggestions (breathe cards) or trace a shape under direction to make their breaks worthwhile. A breath break app like Alphabreaths or My Magic Breaks can be helpful.
4. Moving around
Movement releases endorphins that are calming to the mind. Consider incorporating yoga and stretching into the classrooms to promote calm. In addition, you can encourage students to walk, run or play when they get outside.
5. Short Breaks Being with Nature
Numerous neuroscience studies have found that people get great mental and physical health benefits from being close to nature. Introduce activities that allow kids to spend more time with nature, such as sitting under a tree or watching natural phenomena.
Self-awareness and self-understanding are built through PAUSE practices. Take advantage of the insights mentioned above to instill self-regulation and mindfulness among both students and teachers. The more they practice PAUSE, the calmer the classroom will become!