Monday, August 18, 2014

GoNoodle Brain Break Blitz!

Have you ever been entrenched in the middle of a teaching day only to find yourself struggling to keep your students' attention or keep them in their seats? Have you exhausted all of your usual "attention getters"? (I'm looking at you, clap-clap-clap clap clap and "1,2,3 Eyes on Me"). Sometimes kids just need a little brain break to get refocused on their learning - that's where GoNoodle comes in! GoNoodle is a website that offers free brain break videos that help channel classroom energy for good. You'll find 2-5 minute video brain breaks for three different main categories: calm, energize, and focus. It's super easy to sign up - you just fill out a small information form, choose a class champ, and voila! You're on your way to GoNoodle brain break fun.

I started using GoNoodle in my classroom last year after taking a district PD class on brain breaks in the classroom. The second I introduced it to my students, they were hooked, and so was I!

This month I'm connecting with the fine folks at GoNoodle and am linking up with the GoNoodle Blog for their August Brain Break Blitz!

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Click on the picture to go to the Brain Break Blitz and link up!
Here are three brain break questions to get the inside scoop on why I started using GoNoodle in my classroom....
1. Why are brain breaks so important for today's kids?
I believe kids learn best by DOING. I've been teaching kindergarten for six years now; and every group is the same. They cannot sit for long periods of time and you only have a short window to capture their attention on what you are teaching, especially at the beginning of the year. Keeping students engaged and involved in their learning is so important! Sometimes kids just need a little extra boost to get refocused and ready for the next task at hand. This is where brain breaks come in! It's a way to get the wiggles and fidgets out after doing a long activity; or a way to calm down and get ready for the rest of the day when they come in from an energetic, active recess outside. It really makes a difference when my kiddos can take a brain break, get their bodies moving, and then are ready for focused learning once more!
2. If you were stranded on an elementary classroom island and could only bring 3 brain breaks, what would they be?
That's an easy one. A class favorite is the "Let it Go" music video from Frozen! I also love the Dinosaur Stomp from KooKoo Kangaroo. For calming brain breaks, I love the Safe and Calm video. I tried that video after my kids were particularly wiggly after coming in from recess and it did wonders for them! They were ready to go for the rest of the day.
3. GoNoodle can be a great motivator! Share a tactic or idea for using brain breaks to engage the classroom.
GoNoodle has been an amazing behavior motivator for my students! I tell them that they can earn GoNoodle time every time they follow directions as a group, and it is amazing to see how quickly they shape up! This morning I had to give my poor kiddos a big pre-test and they were going to have to be in their seats, and quiet, no less, for a long period of time. I told them if they tried their best, they'd earn GoNoodle time, and they did SO well... hard for little kinder babies to do at this time of year! I actually let them have two brain breaks in a row and they couldn't contain their excitement as we watched our GoNoodle meter inch closer to the end! After completing the two brain breaks, my kids were able to get all their energy out and were calm and ready for our next lesson of the day. Without those brain breaks, it would have been tough to keep them totally engaged!
Do you use GoNoodle? Link up with their blog for the August Brain Break Blitz and share ideas for how YOU use brain breaks in the classroom! Click on the Brain Break Blitz photo at the top of my post; or you can click here to join in!

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