There’s no denying it — GoNoodle loves dance parties. But, sometimes the brain break students need is something soothing to help them (and you!) chill our for a few minutes. Lindsey Petlak, 4th grade teacher and blogger at It’s Elementary, My Dear!, shares her passion for calming brain breaks. Genius tips, ideas, and inspiration… thanks Lindsey!
Our class LOVES a good ENERGIZING GoNoodle brain break! We get our bodies moving, our wiggles out, and our brains ready to learn. From YouTube favorite picks, to Koo Koo Kanga Roo, we are all about getting down in order to get ready to learn! Energizing brain breaks are fabulous and can be found a-plenty on GoNoodle, but don’t overlook, nor underestimate the power of the CALMING brain breaks available, as well as the many ways they can be effectively utilized with your students.
Why are the Kids SLEEPING?
If you walk by our room at different times during the day, you might wonder…why are the kids SLEEPING? Just kidding… they are NOT sleeping! Earlier this year, we had a class discussion about our emotions. In that discussion, we talked about how students might feel at different times during the school year: stressed, anxious, frustrated, angry, sad, and more were all suggested by students (this chat took place right before MAP testing). Then, we talked about options for strategies in our classroom when someone feels that way.
GoNoodle has provided the PERFECT outlet for students to take control over their emotions, regroup, and reset, leaving them ready to learn again. Should a student find him/herself struggling with an emotion or behavior, using GoNoodle to calm down is one of their choices. Students may participate in “Flow” activities from GoNoodle, which ask a series of questions from the student to see how they are feeling, and then lead them through a series of mental imaging and meditation exercises (about 3-5 min.) to respond accordingly. It is AMAZING.
To be totally honest, Flow is my FAVORITE of all GoNoodle calming options. I love it because it feels so CUSTOMIZED, and that really means somethings to the kiddos…especially if they are already having a tough day. I’m not going to lie, at first my kids balked at the activity when I started the video, but within about 5-10 seconds, they went silent and were hooked. The students were SHOCKED at how awesome the experience was. We may do this whole class at various times during the day, or students may also “chill out” briefly in my office to regain control over their bodies and emotions, if need be.
Below you will see the choices for behavior, and students envisioning the balloon scene being described through our Promethean board. Afterwards, we were all relaxed and ready to learn!
Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: Our ZEN Garden
Another option if students need to chill out and regroup is to take a few minutes in my office with our Zen garden. Students may do this INSTEAD of a GoNoodle brain break or in ADDITION to one. I provide the child with a timer, and they will have that time to relax while working with the Zen garden. After the timer goes off, the child will rejoin the class, relaxed and ready to learn. You will be AMAZED at how this simple activity can recenter your students. If needed, students may complete a “think sheet” during/after both a brain break and zen garden activity to fully reflect on their emotions and/or behavior choices. Guess what the best part it?? I got the zen garden pictured below at DOLLAR TREE for just one buck!
Calm Down with GoNoodle!
Flow is just one of a TON of calming options on GoNoodle. Maximo and his amazing yoga moves will blow your students’ minds, Airtime focuses on breathing techniques & also ties in social studies skills, and many, many more are available and highly effective. Try some this week and see how they impact your students who might typically struggle with emotional & behavioral control. Better yet, use these exercises periodically throughout your daily routine to PREVENT meltdowns, anxiety, and poor choices. You know what they say….”An ounce of prevention…is worth a pound of cure.”
Do YOU use and LOVE GoNoodle calming routines? If so, HOW do you use them, and what IMPACT have you seen them have on individual students and your entire class? Please share! Thanks for reading, and see you again soon.