- Bringing Project Based Learning to our Classroom - August 12, 2018
- Keep the Engagement Alive: Start the Year with Purpose - August 5, 2018
- It’s Our Fault: A Teacher’s Confession - March 18, 2018
- Keeping Your Teaching Real: A Teacher’s Role - March 11, 2018
- Sketch Notes in the Elementary Classroom - February 15, 2017
- Teach From the Heart - February 9, 2017
- Who is the Teacher: School or Family? - January 11, 2017
- Dear President Elect Trump, From Your Teachers - November 17, 2016
- Let them Be Children - October 21, 2016
- Print Resources: Great Tools for Kids - October 17, 2016
In this series, #36weeksoftech, I will review tech tools in my classroom. I will give you my honest opinion and some pros and cons through the eyes of an experienced teacher. This is my 21st year in the classroom, and I teach all subject areas. Using technology can be a way to increase engagement and learning, but it should not be a forced activity that creates more work for teachers. In this first review, I am talking about GoNoodle.
I teach fourth grade in the heartland of the United States. We have an average of 24 students per classroom. My kids come to my classroom at the beginning of the year having spent 10 weeks playing ball, swimming, fishing, roaming the streets of our small town searching for Pokecreatures, and working on the farm. Getting back into the seat work of things is hard.
Two weeks into the school year we are going full blast. Math groups have started. Reading groups start Monday. It is a hard transition from summer time activity to classroom learning. One tech tool that can help with the transition of activity to focus is GoNoodle. This online site is designed to get kids up and moving throughout the day.
Set Up: Go to the site www.gonoodle.com and click on “Sign Up”. This is a free service! Clicking on “I’m an educator” takes you to a profile page for your personal information including name, email, password and birth year. You are then prompted to find your school. If you don’t see your school a form is available to add yourself. This completes your setup process.
Create a Class: Here you can add a class or multiple classes to match your schedule. You will be asked a class name (I always include the year), the number of students and grade level. There is an option for multiple grades if that applies to you. There are 25 champs to select from to represent your class. This can be teacher selected or you can vote to practice the democratic process as you start.
Game Play: At the top of your screen you will have four choices: Our Champ, Explore, Channels, and Category. Under the explore tab you can look at activities by category, length and energy level. This allows you to pull activities that fit your needs. I personally love the Koo Koo Kangaroo and Maximo. The first is a set of guys who are crazy, fun, and creative. We have ridden roller coasters and celebrated the end of day bell with them. The second is a more relaxing activity with yoga and breathing technique. There are many categories and your students will quickly find their favorites and shout out requests when you bring up the screen.
Gets students moving
Practices balance and stretching
Give purpose to transitions
Improves brain function
Helps with classroom management
Provides growth mindset opportunities
Need steady internet connection or you will have interruptions while streaming
Student opportunity to get out of control
Fitting it into your day
When you consider the pros and the cons it is a no brainer that GoNoodle is a must have in elementary classrooms. This website provides a large variety of activities for students and teachers. I try to join in with my class to model trying new and uncomfortable things as well as get my own heart rate pumping. How often do we get to work out during the school day?! With clear expectations your students will figure out how to find a space and enjoy being active during the day. It is perfect to fit into the day when you transition from direct instruction to individual work time as well as between subjects. Indoor recess day? GoNoodle has that covered too with a special category just for recess.