The Five Minute Break

Recharge the body and brain, watch the clock and be back on time.


It’s been a long, intense session of work and activities. Students are yawning, looking tired, not on task. How can you refocus your students?

Try This:

Have a five minute break. If you have easy access to outside, go outside. This is a ‘drink water, nibble brain food, go to the toilet and exercise break’ only.

(Note Refer to the Learning and Life Tips – Make a real, authentic and worthwhile decisions and Be good to your self, you need to maximize the time to get the best out of it for yourself).

Remind students it is only five minutes, not four, not six, five!

Students must be back after five minutes. If not, they lose one minute off the break the next day.

Explain the reason – It’s to recharge and refresh yourself.


  • Quick hand ball games often take place.
  • Students might walk or run around a selected area of the playground.
  • Lots of munching on brain food snacks.
  • Students will eventually notice that it’s the five minute break time and start without prompting – independent thinking begins.
  • Students appreciate the break everyday.
  • Students are more receptive to getting on with work after having a break.


  • Please take a break yourself. Grab some water or brain food and walk and talk with students.
  • Emphasis it’s five minutes only and persist with only five!
  • Note – it’s not a ‘sit and chatter with your friend time’.
  • Set aside time everyday that best suits your timetable.
  • Between the first and second session in the morning is often a great time for the break.
  • When students return from the break they must enter the classroom quietly and efficiently and either return to their work, or meet in your usual meeting area on the floor. You can tell them: ‘I want to see you return to the classroom but I don’t want to hear you!’