“Building confidence with my ELLs (English Language Learners) is one of my greatest challenges each year. I work at a school where over 38 languages are spoken, 8 in my own classroom. With dynamics like this, integrating language throughout the day is imperative.” -Marcy G., 1st grade teacher and blogger at Searching for Teacher Balance
When I first started using GoNoodle years ago, I noticed an instant confidence among my ELLs. I started paying closer attention to why, and here is what I learned…
1. Song is vital for language growth. We all know that singing songs is a great way to practice language, but singing and dancing with your peers is also one of the greatest ways to feel included. GoNoodle is packed with songs — from Pop See Ko with Koo Koo Kanga Roo to I Like to Move It with Zumba Kids. Who doesn’t love to get up, move a little (or a lot), and sing your heart out?
2. Word Jam and Bodyspell (both in the GoNoodle Plus channel) are great activities for reinforcing vocabulary and phonics. Word Jam teaches students new vocabulary words while they act out the definitions. We are all about fun Total Physical Response (TPR) in my classroom. Even better is the fact that I can use the vocabulary words provided or customize my own. I love adding new words from our PYP units to support my ELLs.
Bodyspell is whole body phonics practice. I turn this activity on as students enter each day. Plus, I add each week’s phonics pattern. This way my kiddos practice their spelling words and phonics patterns every morning. I have seen so much spelling growth since implementing this routine daily.
3. Learning needs to be connected to real-word experiences. We all know how important it is for students to transfer their learning from the classroom to the world and vice versa. How about using GoNoodle to help? My champs LOVE the Run With Us channel. We have been working on measurement in math, so I figured I would connect the two. We learned how to Long Jump and reviewed the importance of standard units of measurement. We then became Olympic athletes in a real-life long jump competition. Students estimated their jumps and recorded their actual lengths.