“Last year was my first year using GoNoodle, and it was quite a learning experience! From exploring the awesome content, to deciding how to apply it to my class, to introducing GoNoodle to my students, to even having a group of students who were skeptical about it at first…I have some tips and tricks to make your first GoNoodle year a successful one!” – Maja T., GoNoodle Ambassador
Baby Steps. . .
I went GONOODLE CRAZY when I first found out about it. We did it too much, too quickly. I know what you are thinking . . . too much? But how could that be? GoNoodle is awesome! You can NEVER have too much! Well, I realize now I was drowning my students in videos they didn’t care about for no real reason than to level up our monster because it was cool. I was playing GoNoodle videos 5-6 times per day and it was too much for students to take. They were getting so tired of them. When you are first starting out, play GoNoodle once or twice a day and experiment with different types of videos. Do not use it for every transition as it gets tiring pretty quickly. The best thing that came out of my overload of GoNoodle is my class got a chance to really see what they liked and didn’t like on the website. Seeing what your class favours will make transitioning GoNoodle into your routine much easier. Try a different theme each day in the beginning to experience all types of videos. Moose Tube Monday, Koo Koo Tuesday, Workout Wednesday (Fresh Start), Think About It Thursday and Favorite Friday. This will push students to experience a variety of videos and find their niche.
Make GoNoodle part of your daily Routine.
I noticed when I made GoNoodle part of my daily routine students looked forward to it and it was a chance for them to settle into the day. We arrive in the morning, fill out our planner, do GoNoodle, and then start our day. It is a great way to wake up in the morning and ease into our academics. You can also use it after each break or before or after a big test. But again, do not overload your students with it in the first year. You want them to like it, not be sick of it. I also use GoNoodle as a reward if we are working really well we get to do a fun “game” video on GoNoodle Plus. The Indoor Recess videos are great for days of, well, indoor recesses and also days you don’t have PE.
Let the Students Know WHY we do GoNoodle.
Explicitly explain to your class that we do GoNoodle to wake up our bodies and our minds. That GoNoodle helps us energize in the morning and focus before tests or big events. You can even bring the science behind energizing your body and how it affects your brain. The students will love it! This is how you will hook in those reluctant Noodlers as well. I tell students that if they choose not to participate, they at least have to stand up or move around. The point of doing these movement breaks is to give our mind a reset and give our bodies some activity so we are at our best when we need to learn.
*GoNoodle Tip: Most students come into school so tired! They don’t get much sleep or spend all night playing video games or watching TV. They come to school tired and hungry because often they sleep in until they have to go. So playing a calming video in the morning is about the last thing they want to do, I’ve even had students fall asleep! Playing an energizing video in the morning will wake students up! It gets their blood flowing and their muscles moving.
Don’t Force Students to Participate
It takes a lot for some students to stand up and participate in front of their peers. Although they are not alone, it still puts them in a vulnerable position making them uncomfortable. Don’t push your students to participate or give consequences if they don’t. Instead, you participate and encourage them with words or incentives, but never punishment or consequence. A big part of why my much class loves GoNoodle is how much I love GoNoodle. It’s contagious. Keep with it and by the end of the term, or year for some, you will see those reluctant Noodlers participating, even requesting certain videos.
GoNoodle Your Classroom and Curriculum!
The GoNoodle blog is jam packed with free activities and decoration for your classroom. There are bookmarks, labels, colouring sheets, etc for you to share with your students. We also proudly display our maxed out Champs on our wall. The more you can incorporate GoNoodle into your classroom culture, the more the older students will buy in. Incorporate it into different subject areas such as creating your own Champ transformation in Art or picking a Champ and writing an adventure they went on in Language Arts. The more students see it, and are part of it, the more accepting the will be towards the whole program.
GoNoodle is a game-changer for classrooms and teachers to get students moving and ready to learn. Although it will take time to set up an effective program for your classroom (when to use it, when not to use it) the overall impact it will have is worth it. It is an engaging way for students to get the wiggles out while also learning new things (try GoNoodle Plus for some academic practice in Math and Language Arts). Your first year of GoNoodle will be learning experience to what works best for your class and yourself, but I promise it will be a memorable and fun experience for everyone!