Here's a fun brain break for students. Three Ball Toss is great to do at the beginning of the year to learn student's names, or as a quick brain break. This brain break promotes listening skills, team work, and eye-hand coordination.
Three Ball Toss
1. Instruct students to stand in a circle.
2. Tell them that you are going to toss a ball to someone in the circle. I like to use squishy balls for student safety. Tell them that they will need to remember who they toss it to. This is important for later. Before tossing the ball, say the person's name, make eye contact with the person, then toss the ball underhanded to them.
3. The student who the leader tosses the ball to will repeat the steps in #2. Remind them to say the person's name, make eye contact, and toss the ball underhanded. Eye contact is important because you want to be sure the person is ready to catch the ball. After they have tossed the ball, they will put their hands behind their back to indicate that they have had a turn.
4. Continue having students toss the ball until every student has had a turn.
5. The last person will then toss the ball back to the leader of the game (usually the teacher).
6. Here's the fun part. Now you will repeat the entire process. The first person will toss the ball to the same person they tossed to before and each person thereafter will toss the ball to the same person they tossed it to. Once the game gets going, add in another ball. Wait a few more minutes and add in another ball. It gets exciting. Balls will be flying everywhere! Just remind students they are tossing it to the same person they tossed it to in the first round.
After students are able to do this brain break successfully, you can challenge them to complete it in total silence. It's hard to do, but if they do accomplish it, you will hear cheers from your students.
If you do this as a way to get to know student names, have all of your students say the person's name after the person tosses the ball to them.
Here's my collection of toss around balls. I usually pick them up at discount stores. I use them for all sorts of brain breaks, or for a morning meeting pass around.
Here are some links to some other brain breaks that my students love:
What is it?
You can find more great energizers in Jeanne Gibbs book called TRIBES: A New Way of Learning and Being Together.
Do you have a favorite brain break? Please share in the comment section.