Take a Classroom Break With GoNoodle

I recently had the opportunity to ask a group of colleagues what websites, apps, and software they used in the classroom, and a number of them recommended the website GoNoodle. Having never heard of it before, I decided to check it out for myself. For those of you teaching young learners, you will want to, too, as GoNoodle is full of short brain breaks that help kids release energy and focus.

GoNoodle’s homepage is simple yet appealing. The introductory video is very well done and clearly illustrates the role that activities like the ones on GoNoodle can play in the classroom. Signing up takes no time at all and, even better, it is free! If you like it and decide you need even more, you can always upgrade to GoNoodle Plus, but I always adopt a “wait and see” approach to these things.

Once you are registered, explore the site to learn about its various features. You will start by creating your classes and choosing a champ for each class. Rather than putting in each individual student, you are only asked how many students are in each class, which makes this a pretty quick process.

Choose a class to start looking through activities. There is a nice GoNoodle 101 introductory video under the Explore tab that explains the site to students and highlights some of the activities available. Under the Categories tab, you will find my favorites, guided dancing, free movement, stretching, sports and exercise, kinesthetic learning, coordination, and calming, which means there is something for just about every occasion. Do students need to be energized? Relaxed? Focused? Browse the videos to see what will work best and know that most of the videos are less than 5 minutes, so you can always squeeze them in when you need them.

When going through the process myself, I definitely noticed that the site targets young learners. This is evident in the design, but also in the choices that you, the educator, are given. For example, when creating classes, your options are pre-K through 8th. This is something I especially noticed because I teach adults and everything about GoNoodle told me it was not designed for my student population. Having said that, I thought the videos from Fresh Start Fitness, Think About It, and others seemed appropriate for middle school students and perhaps even older students who might not connect with the site initially because of its childlike design. You will know whether or not the site will work with your students, and, if you are not sure, you could always test it out.

Well, I barely just scratched the surface of what GoNoodle offers, but it definitely seems like something I would use if I taught younger students, so I would recommend checking it out. Even if you decide not to use GoNoodle in your classroom, maybe you have some coworkers or know some parents who might benefit from it, so pass it along.

What do you think about GoNoodle? Share your thoughts and similar sites by leaving a comment below. Personally, I am hoping there is something out there that targets adult learners.

from TESOL Blog http://blog.tesol.org/take-a-classroom-break-with-gonoodle/

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