Students and teachers alike have well over a month of school under their belts. With so much of our beginning of the year testing behind us, it is now when we teachers feel like real learning is happening in our classrooms. With a new set of students each year, we feel like we are starting from scratch on many levels. This can be exciting because each child is like an empty canvas waiting to be painted on. It can also be a daunting time of year because so many students need to relearn how to listen. It takes time to teach, but it cannot be overlooked. Good listening is the groundwork for a year’s worth of learning. An amazing lady at my school, Jill Negrete, (aka “The Word Lady”) has shown me how you can take simple listening exercises and turn them into a brain break during the day. The authors of “The Daily 5” and “The CAFE Book” talk about the brain research behind the concept of brain breaks. In this video, Miss Jill gets kids up and moving to help them understand the importance of waiting/listening to the end so that they don’t get something wrong in school. In the video, she plays a type of “Simon Says” game and teaches concepts such as high, low, far, and near. She starts off with one step directions in the beginning and moves on to three steps shortly. The class is having fun, yet they are learning to “tune in” rather than sit passively while the teacher is talking.

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