What are brain breaks? Aussie teacher’s quick and easy trick to help students refresh and refocus

High school teacher’s genius ‘seven fingers’ trick for resetting teens’ brains with a simple game impresses hundreds

  • A teacher has shared how she gets her student back on focus in the classroom 
  • Chloe, from Brisbane, uses regular ‘brain breaks’ for her student aged 13-18
  • She plays a game when the student are getting distracted called seven fingers 
  • Everyone ‘throws out’ between one and six fingers on the count of three
  • The students who’s numbers adds to seven with Chloe’s stay in the game 
  • Chloe said ‘brain breaks’ helps refresh and refocus the student’s minds

An Australian high school teacher has shared her quick trick for making the unsettled teenagers in her classroom focus on their work.

Chloe, who teaches film, TV and new media to students from years nine to 12, plays a game called ‘seven fingers’ in her classroom to give the students a rest from studying. 

The Brisbane teacher and business owner said regular ‘brain breaks’ can help the teens refresh, refocus, be productive and increase their energy. 

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Aussie high school teacher Chloe (pictured) has gone viral with her quick and easy trick to helping teens refocus in the classroom by playing a 'brain break' game called 'seven fingers'.

Aussie high school teacher Chloe (pictured) has gone viral with her quick and easy trick to helping teens refocus in the classroom by playing a ‘brain break’ game called ‘seven fingers’.

‘Ok boys, we’re getting a little bit chatty – should we do a quick brain break and then we’ll get back on task?’ Chloe asked her classroom prompting excited murmurs from the students in a video posted to Instagram. 

Brain Break: How to play the seven fingers came

1. Play with at least three players and get everyone to stand up

2. Assign one person as the leader

3. On the count of three, everyone holds up a number between one and six on their fingers

4. Whoever’s fingers add up to seven with the leader’s stay in the game while everyone else sits down

5. Repeat until there is only one player left 

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She explained everyone in the room has to ‘throw out’ a random number on their hands between one and six at the same time and hope theirs and Chloe’s fingers add up to seven.   

‘We’re going to count down from three, two, one and then we’re all going to throw out a number on our fingers,’ she said. 

‘The goal is that whatever you throw out and whatever I throw out, it needs to add up to the number seven.’ 

For example, if Chloe ‘throws out’ a five, all the students who didn’t put up two fingers have to sit down and the game continues until there is one winner standing. 

The clever teacher said taking purposeful ‘brain breaks’ from studying can help to refresh the brain as well as increase energy, productivity and the ability to focus. 

‘The purpose is to give the students a break and get them moving. It is not about teaching a skill or winning something,’ she wrote in the clip.

Chloe’s video drew in more than 168,000 views and dozens of thankful comments from teacher and parents. 

She explained everyone in the room has to 'throw out' a random number on their hands between one and six at the same time and hope theirs and Chloe's fingers add up to seven

She explained everyone in the room has to ‘throw out’ a random number on their hands between one and six at the same time and hope theirs and Chloe’s fingers add up to seven

‘I tried this with my class today and they love it! I used it as a maths intro!!’ one woman said. 

‘Going to try it with 10 as well for those kids who need practice with their friends of 10,’ another responded. 

‘Nice one. Good for language teachers too,’ said a third. 

Chloe previously shared some ‘brain break’ games she play in her classroom including a spin on the classic scissors, paper, rock and heads or tails.

In the scissors, paper, rock game, all the students play the classic game but the kids have to do the same as Chloe to stay in the game. 

If Chloe throws out scissors, all the students who did the same stay standing, and all who chose rock or paper have to sit down then the game is repeated until one person remains. 

For the heads and tails game, the students either put their hands on their heads or their hands on their hips before Chloe flips a coin. 

If the coin lands on tails, all the kids with their hands on their hips stay in the game and all the students with their hands on their heads sit down, and vice versa, until there is a final winner.

Why should we take regular breaks while studying or working? 

It can be easy to burn yourself out while studying – spending hours working on an assignment or project without respite. Taking regular breaks can help to prevent study fatigue and keep you focused.

These breaks allow you to refresh your mind and improve creativity, as well as helping you to maintain your attention and regain your motivation.

Below are some tips on how to make the most out of your breaks: 

Duration: One of the most common mistakes people make when taking a break from their studies is letting it run too long. Having breaks that are 15–20 minutes long are ideal but try to avoid them going for longer than that, as you will be more likely to lose the motivation to return to your studies.

Move yourself: Sitting at your desk for hours can be a strain on your body, leading to stiffness and tiredness. Exercising during breaks is ideal to prevent your body from becoming tired and sore.

Stretching or taking a walk short walk will help get blood flowing and re-energise you in the process. Getting out in the fresh air can help to clear your head and improve your mental well-being as well.

Take a power nap: You should aim for a 15–20 minute power nap, which will help to make you more alert, reduce stress and improve cognitive function. 

However, if you nap for too long you will run the risk of sleep inertia, leaving you feeling disoriented and drowsy, so make sure to set your alarm.

Meditation: Meditation can be an effective form of relaxation and allows time for your mind to rest and recharge. 

There are many different mediation types available, so do some research and find out which one works best for you. Meditation is perfect for reducing stress, helping to control anxiety and improving your mental health. 

Do a different task: Performing a different task can often feel like a break because, depending on the task, you might be using different parts of your brain. 

These tasks can include tidying your study space or doing some errands around the house, though if you are pressed for time, tackling a different study task can achieve the same effect while also allowing you to work towards completing the overall task. 

Source: Swinburne University of Technology

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