What We Know vs. What We Do Regarding the Brain and Teaching

One thing we know about our brains is they move to another object about every ten minutes. Knowing this, I think it is ironic so many teaching models last 40 minutes to an hour in many schools. How do we think we can actually hold student’s attention span for an entire 40-minute teaching module?

More about brain-breaks and the classroom

tired student needs a brain break
Brain breaks help students (or an audience) stay focused on topic.

I have had conversations with those who speak publically and very few will even think to change their style despite this fact about our brains.

It is a monumental task to try to hold the attention span of any audience, but it is particularly challenging to keep the developing brains of elementary age, middle-grade and high-school students engaged.  So, case in point, it is why brain breaks are essential to implement in any longer classroom module or speech to maximize the attention span of the audience.  It is how to make what is being taught or said sticky and memorable.

Some may ask what is a brain break. 

I will refer you to yet another Edutopia article by Dr. Lori DeSautels on brain breaks.   I posted on brain breaks not too long ago at LakesideConnect, but there are always new ideas and opportunities. I think her examples of brain breaks are very helpful to give a respite to allow the brain to refocus.

Here is the link:

No matter what your area of teaching or speaking specialty, your learning environment will be improved if you add relevant brain-breaks.  Whether you are attempting to calm or focus your students or audience, these are excellent aids to help achieve your goal–having what you say remembered.

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network


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