Date of Award

Spring 4-27-2023

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Kathy Enger


Brain Breaks, Upper Elementary, Student Engagement


Educators are constantly looking for ways to increase student engagement. Due to limited attention spans in students and the academic stress that is placed on them, students often become disengaged and distracted after extended periods of academic related tasks. Brain breaks, or short periods of movement or relaxation to break up academic tasks, can improve student engagement and focus. One specific benefit was improved focus, which has a positive impact on time-on-task behavior (Cline, et al., 2021). This study will concentrate on three different types of brain breaks; physical brain breaks that involve student movement, mindfulness brain breaks that involve breathing and relaxation, and a combination brain break where a quick movement break is followed by a breathing component. Following each brain break, the researchers will track the number of redirections required to bring focus back to the academic task. Students will also complete a reflection for the researchers to identify if students enjoyed each type of break and if they felt it helped them refocus. It will be explored if there is a difference in student engagement following each type of break and if a specific type of break is more highly enjoyed by the students. The goal is to find a classification of breaks that are both effective and enjoyable for the students.



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