I discovered GoNoodle through Twitter. In the tweet, GoNoodle was described as a website that offers brain break exercises that are engaging for students. I believe brain breaks are a great pausing point during a teaching day. Students can benefit from understanding the need to step away from their work in order to feel refreshed and ready to jump back into classroom tasks. And so I thought, “A way to gamify brain breaks? I’m in!” I went online and did some research. Here's what I found:
GoNoodle is a website filled with brain break activities that can be done any time during the classroom day. As a teacher, you sign your class up (for free), and then earn activity minutes based on your classroom brain break choices: Calm, Energize, or Focus. The fun comes when you share your screen with your students via projector, interactive whiteboard, etc. Once the classroom Champ appears (I’ll talk more about this crazy creature in a moment), you or your students can decide which activity you would like the class to do for a brain break. The activities vary from a calming and relaxing break to one that is more energetic and happy. Every song is accompanied with a video for the kids to watch while they work out.
This is a website that is set up for brain breaks and only brain breaks. I no longer have to come up with the brain break ideas. Once the options appear on the screen, I usually choose one student to decide how we should spend our brain break, then away we go! The kids love the variety, the challenge to follow along with the dances, and the celebratory movement of the motion meter at the end of each activity.
Brain breaks happen in our classroom as a result of special requests from the students. So, in the context of a gift, brain breaks is one that keeps on giving. Students get excited to see our Champ change. The activities are fun and easy to follow along with and again, you don't have to plan or come up with an idea — GoNoodle takes care of it all. Win-win teachers! Fun-fun students! I've never seen my kids so engaged in a movement activity.
The classroom Champ is your classroom mascot. Students get to choose character the first time you load the site on your computer.
Once your class has completed a given number of exercise minutes, you "max out" your Champ and get a new one. For every level you complete, your Champ gets more fitness “garb.” The class gets a kick out of watching our fitness minutes add up and the changes that are made to our Champ. They realize how their ability to work together creates the opportunity to help our Champ grow!
The end of the year brings a classroom filled of amped-up children. With the stress of testing and wrapping up the school year, take a classroom break and try GoNoodle. Your whole class will be so glad you did.
Are there other ways you incorporate brain breaks into your classroom day? I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you for reading!
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