Get Yo Body Movin! 21st Century DPA
Do you find it hard to fit movement breaks into your classroom schedule? Are you ready to enhance your Physical Education classes with technology? Do you find your classroom transitions need more structure? Are you noticing periods of the day when your students need a brain break to increase energy? Are there times when you think your students are too energized and need time calm down?
These are questions I am sure many you (educators) are faced with throughout the day. It is sometimes difficult to anticipate these moments in the day and even more difficult to have a backpack of ready to use activities. Every class is different and every day is different in the classroom. Students' energy levels are always changing depending on the class, time of day, or even the day of the year. GoNoodle has one of the best resources I have ever seen to support educators committed to movement breaks throughout the day. I have recently shared this resource in the Cube for Teachers database as a curriculum resources for Health and Physical Education.
Recently, I have noticed more teachers and schools in general seeing the importance of movement breaks in the classroom. The traditional model of education is very structured and does not naturally allow for movement breaks. Many educators do a great job incorporating movement into their lessons. However, it is not always possible to incorporate movement into every lesson! Movement breaks or "brain breaks" have been a trending component to teachers' classroom routines. Daily Physical Activity (DPA) is further a specific curriculum expectation in the Ontario Health and Physical Education document. It is therefore crucial that educators find creative ways to incorporate movement into their daily schedules.
Okay, now that I have stressed the importance of DPA, lets get movin!! GoNoodle is free for any educator to set up! Once an account has been created, all you have to do is name your class. This class then shows up on your dashboard (as seen below). You can add multiple classes, which is beneficial if you are a prep coverage teacher and teach different groups of students throughout the day. The videos range in difficulty so there are videos that will engage and get any grade moving!!
Furthermore, if you are an Occasional Teacher, you may want to create a class for each school you supply teach at. This way, students in the whole school can continuously work in the same "class." This may even lead to a whole school project to increase DPA and a sense of community within your school!
Once you have created an account and set your class up, students are then able to choose the character they would like to workout with (as shown below)! This character interacts with the students through motivational points, jokes, or questions. Students get to know their character as they work through different exercise activities. I will explain the characters' role more below.
After meeting their character, students are then able to choose from a wide variety of movement videos. This is where the 21st century learning comes into play. GoNoodle incorporates technological literacy with health literacy. Students are able to interact with the SMART Board by selecting the video they want to move to. Furthermore, students are interacting with their character to watch it build muscle just like they are! The digital touch-based technology of the SMART Board is therefore utilized during movement activities. Students are further responding to devices that enhance their learning in the digital age.
The videos range from energizers to de-energizers. I have been using GoNoodle with the grade 1 class I have been teaching for the past few months. They absolutely love it! As shown below, there are different types of movement videos that students can choose from. The grade 1s have really loved some in the GoNoodle, Zumba, and Koo Koo Kanga Roo! folders. Many of these videos are really upbeat and give your students a great movement break. If you are finding your students need to bring their energy levels down like after recess or after a physical education class, use the Maximo videos! Maximo is a hilarious monkey that takes students through Yoga exercises! Basically, what I am trying to say here is that there are so many options to choose from based on your students current energy levels and what types of movement breaks you are trying to integrate.
As I mentioned, Koo Koo Kanga Roo! is one of my students' favourite folders to choose from! They absolutely love Get Yo Body Movin' to dance to. CAUTION: It will get stuck in your head for the rest of the day! You can see some other Koo Koo Kanga Roo! videos below. I have found that because a lot of these videos get students singing the song, it reminds them to ask for GoNoodle when THEY need a movement break. Students know themselves even better than their teachers. It is therefore great when students love a DPA program enough to remind the teacher about it!!
From a teachers perspective, I have also really enjoyed incorporating some of the videos that have curriculum connections. For instance, Koo Koo Kanga Roo! made a Skip Counting video (as shown below) that has students skip counting by different numbers up to 100. This has been a great warm-up for math and has further provided a great transitional video between language arts to math! I believe that GoNoodle has more videos if you buy into the program, but it would be fantastic if they would create even more free videos that connect to curriculum expectations other than DPA!! For instance, Koo Koo Kanga Roo! could really rock a Doubles Rap to help students remember their doubles facts!!
As mentioned above, students choose a cute little character to workout with! However, this character does not stay the same throughout the program GoNoodle. After students complete 10 levels of GoNoodle videos (some videos are worth 1 level while others are worth more depending on their length), students can watch their character Go to the Transmogrifier where their character transforms into an even stronger creature! I noticed more of a sense of community among my students as they worked together to earn the next 10 levels and build up their character! This is a fantastic reward system to keep students motivated and engaged with DPA exercises! Below is an example of how a character transforms! It is so funny how excited they get when they are waiting for their character to transform.
Once their character has developed a lot of muscle, students are awarded a certificate with their classes name and the date they won it! I then send this PDF to myself and print it from a colour printer at my house. I then laminate it and tape it to the wall so that my students remember all of the characters they have earned while moving! The one below is our latest character so my students are very excited to see this posted after the March Break!! Note, once students have earned a character, they can then move on to building up a new character. There are a bunch of different characters for students to choose from.
Overall, GoNoodle offers a creative and EASY way for educators to incorporate movement breaks into their busy daily schedules. I highly recommend using GoNoodle in your classroom to enhance movement through technological devices! Students respond to digital technologies more than a teacher standing up at the front of the room instructing. They love the interactive nature of digital tools, and GoNoodle offers this type of technology for a component of the curriculum that is often difficult to incorporate (DPA). Click the icon below to check out GoNoodle for yourself and GET YO BODY MOVIN!!!