How Taking Breaks in Class Can Improve Learning

Have you ever felt like you have been sitting down for too long in a class? Like you need to get up, stretch, and move around. Well, studies show that doing just this can actually help learning in students. According to an article by Youki Terada from the George Lucas Education Foundation, in a 2016 study, a scientist named Karrie Godwin found that while testing how much elementary students paid attention in class, she found “they spent over a quarter of the time distracted, unable to focus on the teacher or the current task. Shorter lessons, however, kept student attention high” continuing, “Teachers found it more effective to give several 10-minute lessons instead of fewer 30-minute ones.” This shows that taking short breaks in between learning different pieces of information can keep children’s attention on the task at hand or on the teacher for longer periods of time. The article further states that taking breaks to exercise can not only help children reach their goal of at least 60 minutes of exercise a day but can also help to learn by increasing blood flow to the brain which helps nerve cell growth in the part of the brain that is in control of learning and memory. So while many children get exercise outside of school, an exercise in the classroom can be beneficial for children’s brains and comprehension of information in the classroom. Recently, in Ms. France’s science class we take short breaks during long lessons to make sure that everyone has their minds on the lesson and personally, I think this is a great start to letting kids have breaks in the classroom to improve their learning.


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