Tag Archives: Brain Breaks

GoNoodle Has an App!

My students, particularly those in the K-3 grade levels, have really enjoyed using GoNoodle for brain breaks in our classroom.  The kids enjoy the music, the great variety of videos, and the movement.

Now students can log in to their own iOS devices at home to jump, dance, and sing with their favorite GoNoodle tunes. The iOS app is free, but students will need a parent to sign up and log them in the first time.  Make sure the child has a good place to set up his or her device for viewing while participating (an Apple TV is great for this!) so he or she can have hands-free fun!

GoNoodle is a great way to get the family moving before or after a heavy holiday meal, or after a long car trip to grandma’s house 🙂

Download the free GoNoodle app now!
Download the free GoNoodle app for iOS now!
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GoNoodle Plus

I usually post about free resources, but I thought I would make an exception today.  The GoNoodle basic account is free, but all of the schools in our county just received access to the Plus version due to a generous grant.  To be honest, I had never even looked at the Plus version before now.

For those of you who haven’t tried GoNoodle, it’s a great site for promoting movement (also known as brain breaks) during the school day.  A free membership allows you to create classes and gives you access to a huge supply of videos that range from silly to exhausting.  It’s been a popular activity for the last few years in my Kinder, 1st, and 2nd GT classes.

The Plus version of GoNoodle cost $99 per year.  I was perfectly happy with the free version, but I am definitely enjoying the added features in Plus.  The biggest benefit is the option to customize several of the videos to fit your curriculum.

For example, the Mega Math Marathon will help your students practice grade level math fluency as they run in place.  Bodyspell allows you to create customized word lists for the students to spell out with their bodies.  When my 1st graders were learning about the continents on Monday, I was able to create customized multiple choice questions for them to answer while they experienced the Montana James adventure.

With GoNoodle Plus, I think the site will appeal to my older students (3rd, 4th, and 5th) as well.  Getting the opportunity to move around while still learning will be a welcome option for many of them.

Here is more information on GoNoodle Plus in case you are interested.  Also, this is the direct link to the GoNoodle Plus Integration Guide.  GoNoodle offers a 15-day trial if you aren’t sure you have the funds to commit for a year-long subscription.

GoNoodle Plus

Physical Ways to Survive the Weeks Before Winter Break

This week I am revisiting some of last year’s posts that have a lot of helpful December links.  This one is about getting everybody moving! Whether it’s between assignments or for indoor recess (those of you who actually have weather that makes that necessary sometimes!), these links are sure to wake everyone up and get out some of those December  wiggles:)

from GoNoodle.com
from GoNoodle.com

One of the things that is really important any time of the year is to get the students up out of their seats.  But it’s particularly vital this time of year.  Attention spans are shorter and less time is spent out of doors in many places.  Here are some ideas for keeping active during the school day:

Want more from this series?  Check out Creative Ways to Survive the Week Before Winter Break , Telegenic Ways to Survive the Week Before Winter Break, and Logical Ways to Survive the Week Before Winter Break!

Let’s Move It, Move It!

It may seem a bit paradoxical to be staring at a screen while you are trying to get fit, but there are more and more tools available out there to allow you to do just that.  As you begin planning for the new school year, you might want to check out some of these tech resources for encouraging kids (and adults) to take brain breaks.  Multiple studies have shown that these are valuable for both the mind and body.

  • I’ve mentioned GoNoodle on this blog before.  I highly recommend this free online tool for an awesome way to motivate your students as well as track how many minutes they are spending on “moving it.” Erin Klein just did a great post on GoNoodle on her blog, and is offering a t-shirt giveaway, so head on over there if you want more details!
  • This summer, I found out about an extension for the Chrome browser called, appropriately, “Move-It.”  You can set it to remind you at certain intervals to take a little exercise break.  To use the extension, you need to be in the Chrome browser.  Click on this link, the “free” button, and “add.”  A small icon will appear in the top right of your browser.  You can click on that icon to set the time periods for intervals.  At the set time, your browser will open a new tab, and give you instructions for a short exercise.  It’s a nice little reminder – though some teachers may find it annoying to have the pop-ups. (You can easily disable it by getting rid of the checkmark in the window or right-clicking on the icon to manage your extensions.)  I did notice a couple of grammar errors in the pop-ups that might make for a fun editing lesson while you are “moving it.”

Move It

  • Finally, Collin Brooks has come up with a fun way for students to get moving at home by creating augmented reality fitness task cards using the free Daqri app.  I love this idea, and hope you will take a look at the short video on this post where he explains how it works.

GoNoodle

Go Noodle
GoNoodle

It’s time for state-wide testing in my neck of the woods.  Even though we are not allowed to have computers on during the test, you might want to consider using GoNoodle after the test, particularly for students who have been sitting for awhile. They also recently added a feature called, “Flow,” which helps with stress.

I mentioned GoNoodle a while back in a post I did on “Physical Ways to Survive the Week Before Winter Break.”  Shortly afterward, I started meeting with my new Kinder GT students twice a week.  On Fridays, they miss Kinder Cafe (when the students go to the gym once a week to dance to different songs) to come to my class.  Last year, the students didn’t seem to mind.  But, this year I nearly had a mutiny on my hands. Even though, they only meet with me for an hour on Fridays, and we barely sit down the entire time, it was clear they needed a “Brain Break.” So, I thought I would give GoNoodle a try.

GoNoodle is free.  You can register your class (no individual student names necessary) and then get started.  It’s a fun way to gamify being physical for your entire class.  I usually choose a student randomly with Class Dojo to pick that day’s GoNoodle activity. (“Let it Go” and “Everything is Awesome” are huge favorites.) There are lots of videos to choose from – some including more physical activity than others.  Go Noodle keeps track of the time spent on the video, and gives the class points toward the next level.

The students enjoy the goofy looking characters and the silly pieces of trivia they offer.  But, of course, they enjoy the music and dancing the best.  Admittedly, not a lot of dancing goes on with “Let it Go.”  It’s actually more of a sing-along with dramatic magical gestures 🙂

If you are wondering about the appeal to older students, you might want to check out this post from @TechNinjaTodd about the way he uses GoNoodle with 5th graders.

Note: If you are in a district that blocks YouTube, you may have some trouble accessing some of the videos. Our district allows us to log-in, but the first time I tried to go directly “Be Happy” through GoNoodle without logging in, I had a group of very disappointed Kinders!

a selection of the GoNoodle Brain Breaks
a selection of the GoNoodle Brain Breaks

Physical Ways to Survive the Week Before Winter Break

from GoNoodle.com
from GoNoodle.com

Welcome to the “Survive the Week Before Winter Break” series!  So far, we have “Logical Ways to Survive the Week Before Winter Break” and “Creative Ways to Survive the Week Before Winter Break.”  I hope you’ve found some helpful links on those posts!

One of the things that is really important any time of the year is to get the students up out of their seats.  But it’s particularly vital this time of year.  Attention spans are shorter and less time is spent out of doors in many places.  Here are some ideas for keeping active during the school day:

Tomorrow, the series continues.  However, I’m still thinking of a title.  I think I need to take a bit of a Brain Break, myself…

Brain Breaks and Deskercises

image from: http://www.emc.cmich.edu/brainbreaks/default.htm

More and more research seems to be showing that performance in school can be enhanced by physical activity.  These two sites, Brain Breaks and Deskercises, will give you some great resources for short exercises that can easily be done during the school day.  Some of these are purely physical, and some require some mental exertions.  The key is to give your students an alternative to spending hours in their seats receiving information.  For more information on the benefits of adding more movement to our students’ school day, you can also check out this 2009 story from NPR.

Thanks to my colleague, P.E. Coach Jason Sellers, for bringing these to my attention!