Data in this project was collected using three different methods, and presented two major themes. The first theme being that the use of brain breaks in the classroom improves student morale and classroom environment. The second theme is that the use of brain breaks in the classroom leans toward a trend that suggest improvement in student engagement in the classroom.
Data from the student on task/off task engagement observations is presented in the following table.
|Day||Before Brain Gym Implementation||During Brain Gym Implementation||Change|
Before implementing Brain Gym in the classroom, student engagement levels were between 82% and 85%. After Brain Gym implementation there is a slow, but clear pattern of improvement with each day that the program was implemented. Though at the beginning of implementation the student engagement rate dropped. It can be assumed that students were thrown of by the change in routine, and the challenge of trying out something new. However, after an initial setback, the engagement levels demonstrate clear but increasing gains with each day. By the final day of data collection, the student had reached and ideal level of engagement.
The second method of data collection supports the first and second theme. Each student who participated in the Brain Gym implementation was given a survey to complete answering questions about their feelings and opinions of the use of Brain Gym in the classroom. Eleven students total were surveyed. The following table complies student response rates.
|Happy Face||Okay Face||Sad Face||Ready to Learn||Warmed-Up||Hyper||Sleepy||Bored||Refreshed|
It is very clear that a majority of the students and participants enjoy the Brain Gym activities and that only a few of these student feel neutral about the activities, but none of the students find the activities to be negative experiences. Whether the numerical data represents it or not, if the students think they feel warmed up and ready to learn after doing the Brain Gym activities, then their engagement will improve. The vast majority of students replied positively on the student survey. Many of the students responded that they enjoy Brain Gym and that they feel better after they have done them. The fact that the students enjoy the activities helps contribute towards their positive morale as students in a rigorous academic setting and helps improve the classroom environment.
Lastly, a focus group was conducted to develop and understanding of what the activities mean to the students and how they affect their ability to learn and work productively in the classroom. The results of the focus group conversation support the second theme that the data presented. After concluding the conversation and discussion the eight focus group questions with the four students selected, I was able to understand the students’ value of physical activity in the classroom and the way it is applied in their classroom. The students think that physical activity is important and should be used in the classroom. They believe that it helps them learn better to move around and have some freedom in the classroom. They believe that Brain Gym is good and helps them learn better because it gives them a break while in class. They like the way the activities are going on class and the way that physical activity is incorporated into regular activities and had no suggestions on how to change or improve its use in the classroom. These results support the second theme that student morale and classroom environment are improved by the use of Brain Gym activities.