Better Brain Breaks
$50.00 donated
$997.50 goal
Campaign ends on November 11, 2022 Campaign ended on November 11, 2022

Grade: 9-12

Teacher Name: Alyssa Reese

Purpose and Rationale:

Every class I take my biology learners (in both 9th grade Biology and AP Biology) on a 10-15 minute brain break outside, which impacts multiple aspects of their wellbeing:

  • their connection to the world around them becomes deeper--a place-based and project-based education goal I'm working on,
  • their mental load is relieved during the break from work halfway through class,
  • their creativity and curiosity is fueled by this less-structured free time--something education research continues to emphasize for high school age learners,
  • their social interactions during this less-structured time connects them to other learners in new ways,
  • and their physical and mental health are improved with time in the sun and fresh air.

My learners have really been enjoying our brain breaks for 2 years now, but there has been room for improvement and I'm asking for some supplies based on feedback from my learners. I'd like some supplies for both physical activities (sports balls, jump ropes, hula hoops) and scientific activities (binoculars, bug nets and pins, plant press supplies) so that depending on conditions outside and what my learners are in the mood for, we can get in some physical activity that day or examine the species we come across outside to make fun connections to what we're learning in biology. I honestly believe these brain breaks have been helping me incorporate all 4 of CISD's values by building our relationships as a whole class, increasing their engagement in class in general, making new connections that elevate my teaching, and showing my learners that success includes caring for our mental, physical, and social health, even when there's a lot to accomplish intellectually.

Strategy: Each biology class, we will use a variety of these supplies for different activities, and all 110 of my learners will participate in these improved brain breaks.

External Resources: Not applicable

Evaluation Summary: 
As learners show generally more engagement in the world around them and more curiosity and enthusiasm in class, I'll know that brain breaks are helping them as a well-rounded person. I'll watch how often different supplies or activities are requested, and see what new types of questions are asked during class related to what we've observed outside. I also often see comments about things we've seen outside in assignments, so I can gauge how the new science supplies helped them engage more deeply with outdoor phenomena.

Estimated Completion Date: January 31, 2023

Items you plan to purchase with grant money: Sports balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, binoculars, bug nets and pins, plant press materials

The minimum amount I need to get started on this grant is [$ 950  ]

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$50 raised across all campaigns
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Joanna Gunderson
Sally Wiethoff
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