Three years ago, I embarked on what has been the most adventurous journey of my teaching career—first grade! Right around the same time, a colleague introduced me to GoNoodle.
Little did I know how often I would use GoNoodle in my everyday teaching, and once I discovered GoNoodle Plus and all of its curricular offerings, I use it even more! And now, I am here to share with you the top 5 ways I think GoNoodle Plus can help first grade teachers. Just think of me as your GoNoodle Plus guide. Off we go!
More Opportunities to Move
You probably already know about GoNoodle’s amazing videos for movement breaks. First Graders love to move, and they love catchy and fun songs and dances. But GoNoodle Plus offers even more movement videos tied to core-subjects. For example, “Meow Moo Moo” and “Banana Banana Meatball” are AMAZING pattern songs from Blazer Fresh, and “Clap it Out” is their awesome song about syllables.
Firstie-Friendly Mindfulness Practice
One of my other favorite uses of GoNoodle is to play the calming mindfulness videos and activities. And to go along with the mindfulness videos, GoNoodle Plus includes printable activities called Learning Extensions. The mindfulness Learning Extensions can help your class draw and write about some of these ideas, making the more abstract concepts in these videos more concrete for first graders. My class’ favorite is “Be Kind to Yourself.” After we complete the video, we talk about and fill in the the “How Can You Be Kind to Yourself” Learning Extension. Team GoNoodle took all the prep time out of that lesson for me!
Our school uses an Inquiry approach to most of our learning. To help jumpstart the process, we often use inquiry starters, or high engagement ways to spark student attention. As we begin a science unit or lesson, I like to look through Field Trip’s list of destinations. (There are over 100 to choose from!) I can almost always find one that relates to the lesson ahead and get my students excited and ready to learn!
I will be the first to admit, sometimes I feel like I run out of ways to review our sight words. But then I found BodySpell! My boys in Blazer Fresh combined some awesome kinesthetic methods with engaging music to make what just might be my favorite GoNoodle activity. You can use your own spelling words or use the pre-loaded words. Then watch your kids spell the words as they make their bodies into letters!
Did you know that GoNoodle Plus allows you to add your own content-specific questions to the Learning Games? As a first grade teacher, I’ve created questions about friends of ten in math, similar vowel sounds, and syllables in Word Study. Your kids can run, dodge, dance, act out words, and so much more, while answering questions you’ve created for topics your students need to practice.
More About GoNoodle Plus
Many of the features mentioned in this post are exclusive to GoNoodle Plus! GoNoodle Plus is the most academically comprehensive version of GoNoodle. It offers 100s of ways to deepen student learning through movement and mindfulness. Additional curricular videos, customizable games, and downloadable activities maximize movement, instructional time, and fun! You can start a free 30 day trial (no credit card required) by clicking below.
Christine Yandow is a 1st grade teacher in Farmington, CT. In addition to being a GoNoodle Plus wizard, Christine practices her Kitty High Fives with her three cats, and secretly dreams of joining Koo Koo Kanga Roo (secret’s out!).