Without Community a Classroom Is Just a Room

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Creating a sense of community in your classroom is one of the most important things you can do to have a successful school year. Easier said than done right? Well, one of the easiest ways to start this process is through positive and conscious interactions between students. “Eye contact, presence, touch and a playful situation are the four core components required to truly connect with others. Connections on the outside (with other people) are what actually create and strengthen neural connections within the brain. Moreover, all learning begins with connection!” – Dr. Becky Bailey.

Here are 3 great GoNoodle videos or series of videos that include all those components to help build these connections in your classroom!

1. All the Secret Handshake videos on the Koo Koo Kanga Roo channel:

In these videos, students partner up to do different kinds of fun and silly handshakes. Having a class handshake is a great way to build connections and community in your classroom. Use one of the ideas in these videos to greet your students or have them greet each other in the morning.

2. Fist and Flat on the Brainercise with Mr. Catman channel:

Here in this video again, student’s get a partner (or this can even be done in groups of three or four to really challenge your brain!) and they have to alternate making fists and flat hands with their partner doing the opposite. Not only is this a form of cross lateral brain exercise that will get students brains awake and enhance their focus, but they have to truly connect with their friend while doing the video in order to be successful.

3. Kitty/Baby/Teacher High Five on the Awesome Sauce channel:

Not only are these videos extra playful, but there are lots of opportunities for kids to connect during them by giving high fives and following the other directions as well. During the parts of the song where it gives different directions, I have my student’s stay in the designated spots for GoNoodle, but during the refrain, I encourage the kids to walk around the room and give as many high fives as they can, before returning to their spots for the rest of the song.

I hope you will use these songs and videos on GoNoodle to encourage even more connections in your classroom and build an environment where everyone feels like they are part of a school family. Happy Dancing!

Jessica Lopez is a Pre-K teacher and GoNoodle Ambassador. 

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