From Tired to Awake

School can be tiring sometimes.

Maybe in an elementary school it looks like laying on the carpet, instead of sitting criss cross. In a high school, it may be a flat out snore in the middle of lecture. Feeling the warm afternoon sunshine come through the window, even teachers can feel their eyes start to go droopy. I suddenly wish I would have had that second cup of coffee!

The good news is, there are quick and easy body strategies that can take us from tired to awake in under five minutes. The Tried to Awake routine can be done whole group or individually as needed.

I like to offer this routine to the whole group during Morning Meeting, when bodies are still sleepy, or after lunch. The effectiveness of this routine comes from the oscillation between an energizing movement and a resting movement.

We always like to meet a body where it’s at. So, if it is tired, we will begin with a resting position, such as child’s pose.

Child's Pose in first grade

Then, after three to five breaths, we transition into an energizing movement, like down dog. Pressing hands and feet into the floor is a great way to engage all muscle groups and wake up the body. Hold down dog for three to five breaths to feel fully engaged. We recommend three to four rounds, between child’s pose and down dog, for the full effect.Downdog on a First Grade carpet

Students in middle school and high school may be more comfortable with a seated variation. You can create a similar effect using head on desk and seated backbend, pictured below. Again, remember to hold each position for three to five breaths before transitioning.

head on desk

seated back bend

Blog Bonus! Use this audio to lead your students through the Tired to Awake Routine.

What have you tried to fend off the tired gazes of your students? Leave a Comment!

Be Well,

Stephanie Kennelly

5 replies
  1. Liz
    Liz says:

    This is a great routine! It would be a valuable tool for students and staff at my school. I think I’m going to send out my own version of this routine for teachers to use to start their own day, to start the day or re-energize their day with students and even for clerical staff sitting at their desks all day. What a great, effective, and easy-to-use tool! Thanks for sharing!


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