Waking the Brain with Morning Stretches

Are you or your students lagging in the morning? Try these morning stretches that cross the body's midline to put a little pep in your step and jumpstart the brain!
You might remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about my take away from the Kagan training that I attended and how I was planning to Refocus Our Classroom. One of the big ideas that I touched on was waking up the brain through big muscle movement.
So this month for the Bright Ideas link up I am sharing how it is going. The short version is that it is amazing! The long version isn't all that long, so I will share it with you.

Each morning, after our class meeting, we do a series of stretches. The idea behind this is that when you do big muscle movements it increases the oxygen flow to your brain, and therefor prepares it for learning. Some mornings we do squats, and others we do jumping jacks, but my class' favorite stretch is the milk and cookies stretch!
Are you or your students lagging in the morning? Try these morning stretches that cross the body's midline to put a little pep in your step and jumpstart the brain!
 To perform this stretch you simply start by reaching your right hand across the midline of your body as far left as you can while simultaneously stepping your right foot back. While you do this you say, "Milk!"
Are you or your students lagging in the morning? Try these morning stretches that cross the body's midline to put a little pep in your step and jumpstart the brain!
Are you or your students lagging in the morning? Try these morning stretches that cross the body's midline to put a little pep in your step and jumpstart the brain!Then you repeat with the left side and say, "Cookies!" Repeat on both sides for as long as desired. We usually do this about ten times or so. The whole process takes less than a minute.

The first time we did this I chose milk and cookies, but now each time we name two items to say. Students LOVE to be the one to pick an item. Some of our favorites are pancakes and syrup, tacos and orange juice, and donuts and coffee.

I have found that by doing this each morning it helps all of us to wake up and be in a better mood to start our learning!

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3 comments:

  1. Love the Milk & Cookies! I just included a link to it in my Daily Physical Activity post scheduled for tomorrow. It would be fabulous in any second language classroom! Thanks for sharing it!

    Mme Aiello @ Teaching FSL

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  2. I really believe that doing the cross lateral stretches helps activate memory. We always did them before a big test, too.

    Krazy Town

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  3. I'm so glad I found your blog. I, too, am a Texas teacher (San Antonio) and look forward to reading more helpful tips and tricks from you. My class is going to adore the stinky feet review!

    I love using many of the Kagan structures. 7 years ago I attended a conference and LOVED it. Thanks, again, for the great tips and best of luck to your kids on STAAR!

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