Saturday, September 5, 2015

Top 10 Benefits of GoNoodle

When I began using GoNoodle in my classroom, I was thrilled to be able to give my students an opportunity to get their wiggles out. Giving students short activity breaks is still my primary reason for using GoNoodle, but the benefits have gone so much further than I ever expected! I have assembled a top ten list of reasons I love GoNoodle.

Top 10 reasons I love

10. GoNoodle can be used as a motivator for desired behavior.

I often tell my students that if we can get our work done or the room cleaned up in a certain amount of time, we'll have time to do a GoNoodle activity. This can really help with transitions. I've also used GoNoodle as a way for kids to earn rewards for the class. If a student meets an individual behavior goal, I let them choose a GoNoodle activity for the class.

9. GoNoodle teaches kids techniques for calming down.

In addition to the physical activities, there are also calming videos. The videos teach strategies for calming down, adapting to changes, forgiving yourself, and other social skills.

8. GoNoodle helps support Responsive Classroom.

We started doing morning meetings last year. I was really amazed by the amount of overlap between RC and GoNoodle. For example, in RC students greet each other each morning. To keep the greeting fresh, there are lots of different methods to use to greet each other. Koo Koo Brothers have some secret handshake videos where they teach many of the same handshakes I learned in Responsive Classroom Training. Most of the videos on GoNoodle would work very well for the activity portion of morning meeting as well. I prefer to do the activities with our focus on each other rather than on a screen, but the GoNoodle videos are really helpful for teaching the activities.

7. I can use things we've done in GoNoodle videos throughout the day to help me manage my class.

Many teachers like to use callbacks to get kids attention. (I say "One fish, two fish." They say, "Red fish, blue fish.) Last year my class LOVED the Koo Koo Pop See Ko video. I started using it as a fun way to get them quiet before going to lunch. I would say, "Hey Class!" They responded, "Hey what?" We would go through the intro and then they had to find a silent way to pop see ko. We ended by standing like a soldier and were ready for the hall.  

We've been doing the Llama Song lately (one of the new Moose Tube videos.) Yesterday we were in the hall waiting for one last student to finish washing their hands. I started doing the hand motions for the Llama song. They picked up on it immediately and we went through the whole song without making a sound. (By the way, this is also awesome for early literacy skills.)

6. GoNoodle gives different kids the opportunity to shine.

One year I had a student who seemed to struggle with everything related to academics and behavior, but when we put on a Zumba Kids video, holy cow! What an incredible dancer! It was a real source of pride for him, and it gave the other kids a positive way to view him. (Also, just watching him made the rest of my class better dancers. He was seriously gifted.) I would have had no idea about this incredible talent without GoNoodle.

5.  GoNoodle directly supports academic skills.

Of course physical activity and brain breaks are research-based strategies for improving academic achievement, but recently GoNoodle has added lots of ways for you to incorporate your own learning objectives into activities. Check out this shared writing lesson from last winter.

Also, I'm thinking I'll be able to put the words to some of the popular songs into their fluency folders!
I just wrote the words to the Llama Song if you're interested.7. Kids increase their physical activity at home because of GoNoodle.

4. It increases students' level of activity at home.

One year we didn't have recess after lunch, so I would use GoNoodle to help with the transition from lunch to classroom. I had a student who was so averse to physical activity she would hide to avoid coming to the classroom and doing activity. One day I mentioned it to the PE teacher. The PE teacher gave her a little pep talk, and she started participating. Later in the year that student told me she was doing GoNoodle at home! (We did Camp GoNoodle at my house this summer.) She came to my room last week to help me with assembling some packets, and she begged to be allowed to do a GoNoodle activity before she left. So proud of her!

3. There are benefits to kids with anger, anxiety, or sensory problems.

Deep breathing and yoga are proven ways to help kids with anger and sensory problems. Airtime and Airtime Space both teach students deep breathing. I was truly AMAZED the first time I put on the Airtime video. One of my students had some very serious behavior concerns. He refused to join the class for lessons about half the time. He opted instead to hide under desks. When the Airtime video came on, he was entranced. I could actually see him calming down as he breathed in and out in time to the bubble. 

My own son is being evaluated for sensory concerns, so I've been doing lots of reading on Sensory Processing Disorder. As I read, I'm thinking of so many former students. I'm realizing that SPD is probably the reason for many behavior problems we deal with. One of the most highly recommended strategies for kids with SPD is yoga, so I try to do a Maximo video everyday.

2. GoNoodle gives me an opportunity to discuss growth mindset.

Some kids who learn reading easily struggle with some of the balance and coordination tasks on GoNoodle. I've seen them give up and sit out during the harder activities. As an athletically challenged person myself, I can relate. When I was younger, I had a pretty awful PE teacher. I didn't know how to do things, and I assumed I'd never be able to learn. When I got older, I had some better PE teachers. I started to realize that I could actually improve my coordination when they provided me with some coaching and practice time. As an adult, I was amazed at the improvements I made while taking an aerobics class. I've even seen my own dancing improve with some of the guided dancing videos we do! I've been able to share this experience with my students. I think it's easier to see and feel your own improve

ments in physical activities and songs than in reading and math. I use the example of GoNoodle to explain to my students how they can improve in any area by learning strategies and practice. 

1. It adds joy to the classroom!

I really cannot describe the excitement of the Transformigator. It really has to be seen to be believed. ;)

If you love GoNoodle as much as I do, I have some very exciting news! From now until September 11, you can use the code  BTSwithGoNoodle to save 15% on everything in the GoNoodle Shop.

Additionally, I am thrilled to be able to offer my first ever sponsor giveaway. I have a GoNoodle Canvas Tote to give away!

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Winners will be contacted by email. I will need to provide your mailing address to GoNoodle so they can send you your prize.

Check out other posts with giveaways!

If you found this post to be interesting or fun, I'd love for you to connect with me!

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  1. I hope there are lots of teachers out there using Go Noodle in their classrooms, and that administrators are supporting and encouraging its use.

  2. So who out there is using Go Noodle??

  3. Love Go Noodle but in this new crops of kids, I have 3 that just refuse to do any of it.
    Any ideas on how I can motivate them? I teach first.

    1. My opinion is that you should keep doing GoNoodle and not make a big deal about their lack of participation. I think they will see how much fun everyone is having, and eventually one of them will join in, and then maybe the other 2. It might take 2 weeks, but so what! What are they doing instead? I will look forward to seeing what Deb Maxwell has to say about it.

    2. I've had this happen, too. It seems like the ones who don't want to participate are the ones who need it the most! Sometimes you just have to let it go, but here are somethings to think about. Why don't they want to do it? Will they tell you? Are they embarrassed? (let them stand in the back) Do they struggle with it? (talk a lot about growth mindset with specific examples from your life.) Is it too loud and chaotic in the room? (can they wear noise canceling headphones or have a spot away from the other kids?) What happens if you secretly let them choose the activity before you get started? Would they like to operate the control arrows for the racing events? Are they willing to do some of the less intimidating activities like Airtime? It can be hard to find the right balance for some kids. They are intimidated by the difficulty of Zumba, but they don't know what to do with the freedom to dance anyway they want to like Kids Bop. The Roller Coaster activity from Koo Koo Brothers is a good one to get kids to participate. You could suggest they practice at home. I talk a lot about being brave and how they are in a safe place.

  4. I was thinking of joining the back to school Go-Noodle Blogging pool but you basically said everything I use it for and more. Great post - especially about how it fits so well with Responsive Classroom as I haven't considered that before!


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