TTAC Topics                                                                                                 September 2014
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Give those brains a break

Providing students with movement strategies during instruction is a proven technique for increasing academic achievement and positive behaviors in the classroom.  Referred to commonly as "brain breaks," this research-based strategy involves stepping away from academic instruction and leading students in a short (1-5 minute) movement break.  

Students in inclusive classroom settings have demonstrated an increase in the ability to focus on instruction when given the opportunity to move and have fun.  Additionally, this strategy has been proven to enhance relationships and build community within the class and can be incorporated during transitions, after lunch, before testing, during "Morning Meetings," or anytime teachers notice a decrease in student engagement during instruction. provides a thorough list of brain breaks to use in the classroom, as well as directions for picking the right brain break at the right time. 
Resources for students with TBI
Did you know that brain injury is the leading cause of disability and death among children and adolescents in the US?  In the US over 400,000 emergency room visits and 29,000 hospitalizations occur each year as the result of a brain injury (CDC, 2012).  More than half of the visits were caused by falls and close to a quarter of the visits were related to blunt force trauma. Using the CDC data, prevalence estimates 21,309 youth in Virginia under 18 are disabled as a result of a brain injury.

These numbers have big implications for school divisions as a brain injury can result in impairments in one, some, or all of these areas: 
  • cognition
  • language
  • memory
  • attention 
  • reasoning
  • abstract thinking
  • judgement 
  • problem-solving
  • sensoryperception,and motor abilities
  • psychosocial behavior 
  • physical functions
  • information processing 
  • speech

The Brian Injury Association of Virginia has published a guide for educators Brain Injury and the Schools: A Guide for Educators. This guide is available through the Virginia Department of Education website helpful resource provides you with a wealth of information regarding the identification, education and support for a student with traumatic brain injury. Families and students with traumatic brain injuries may need supports and resources outside of school as well. Additional supports and resources can be found on the Brain Injury Association's website at

Book study kits available for checkout

A book study is a great way to learn new information and share knowledge and strategies. Our Program Specialists have put together many book kits for checkout. These book kits include 8-10 copies of the book and discussion questions for your book group.  

Book study topics include formative assessment, behavior management strategies, teaching reading and mathematics, early childhood education, teaching students with autism, active learning and inclusive practices. To find book titles, search our on-line library for "book study kits".


Stop by our library to check out these book study kits, as well as other instructional resources. Our office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm. If you want to meet with one of our Program Specialists, please call and make an appointment so someone will be available to spend time with you. Can't make it into the office? Some library items can be placed in the mail or delivered to your school.  Call us for more information.


Visit our on-line library catalog 



VDOE's Training and Technical Assistance Center at VCU
700 E Franklin Street, Suite 140
P.O. Box 843081
Richmond, VA 23284-3081


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