Friday, April 11, 2014

Mindfulness in the Classroom with GoNoodle!

I'm excited to share today about something I've been using for a while now in my classroom. GoNoodle! It has been the perfect compliment to all of the mindfulness & centering activities I've been doing with my kiddos this year! And I was super lucky to discover the site just before all of my big state standardized tests because it's loaded with great stuff for mood enhancing brain breaks.

If you haven't heard about it before, I'll give you the basic breakdown. But even if you have already heard about it from one of my Best Blogging Buddies, you'll want to keep reading because I'm going to show you one of the coolest new additions to the site!

The Basics:

You start by creating an account, which is super simple! Next, you set up a class (which also takes only a minute!) And then you pick out a "Champ." There are a bunch to choose from, so I let my kiddos do a quick vote on which one we'd go with. 

We all know kids LOVE games where they get to evolve
a monster looking thing. do I!
A really cool feature of the Champs (which all have unique and hilarious looks and names) is that they evolve as you level them up. I actually caught myself trying to squeeze in an extra minute of Zumba (one of the cool options!) one day because I knew our Champ was on the verge of leveling up and I wanted to see what he would look like! Haha. The kids get REALLY into it too.

Once you've picked your Champ, it's easy from there! You just click the little "Play" button right there in the middle and the different videos and games pop up. 

After completing a video brain break or a game, you earn points for the time played, which go towards leveling up your Champ!

So, I wanted to tell you how I've been using GoNoodle in my classroom! 

I've blogged before a bit about how I've been implementing mindfulness and centering activities in my classroom this year. I've been doing guided meditations, yoga, and breathing exercises with the kids and I've had nothing but great results. The great news? In addition to a bunch of fun brain break music videos, GoNoodle actually has three games that are geared towards mindfulness! Did I mention all of this is free?! 

A few of my favorite things:

1. Flow

As you do the activities, your
tree grows more leaves!
This is the newest thing to hit GoNoodle, and one of my personal favorite things. It is basically a set of illustrated, narrated meditations that your kids can follow to help them become centered! Perfect! You can choose a grade level from K - 7!

Right now there are two categories to choose from, and then additional choices under those categories. You can choose to Manage Stress or to shift your Attitude.

Here are my kids doing the activity titled "Bring it down," which focuses on gently bringing down your stress level. Perfect for doing just before an important test! We turn the lights out, open the blinds a little, sit on our "sitting bones" and listen to the soothing voice guide us through the exercise!

Trust me, there's nothing cooler than looking over during math class and seeing one of your kids with their eyes closed mouthing "Chin up, chin up" or having a kid come to school in the morning and tell you that last night their sisters were fighting so they went and sat on their bed and did some "mindfulness stuff" to keep from getting upset. Those 2 or 3 minutes here and there can make a real difference throughout the whole day, and even outside of school!

2. Airtime

We have been doing a lot of breathing exercises this year to help us become centered. This is great to do right before a read-aloud, or any other time that the kids will need to sit and focus. 

Airtime is a guided breathing exercise with an added twist! We're breathing a bubble all across America and picking up postcards with fun facts along the way!

3. To The Maximo

You know what your life is missing? A top hat wearing, purple monkey yoga master with a funny accent, that's what! Worry not. Maximo is here to the rescue! Yes, yes he is. 

Want to do yoga with your class but don't have the confidence to lead them? I have to admit that's how I felt before we started using the To The Maximo game on GoNoodle. But now I don't have to lead, I can participate right along with the kids as he leads them in a very funny and kid friendly way through a ton of different poses! Some of them are a little tough for an increasingly less flexible and rapidly aging teacher like myself, but after just a few times with Maximo I think I'm getting better! 

4. Zumba

Research supports the idea that adding movement to your daily routine can help student achievement. And any teacher worth their salt could tell you that without the research! 

But did you know that it's also a great way to bribe your kiddos! :) Mine love doing the Zumba and other dance videos, so it's a simple trade off...the students don't waste our instructional time with silly things like off-task behavior, and then we have three minutes after we pack our backpacks for some Zumba! Win-win!

I love the fact that all of these activities are things you can load up and project with no prep, and then you are free to participate along with the kids! 

My kids are in love with GoNoodle, and so am I! I really hope you'll give it a try! Click on any of the links in this post and go see how easy it is to set up an account and start doing some brain breaks and mindfulness in your own classroom! Your kids will thank you, and I have a feeling you'll thank me!  ;)


  1. I have been using GoNoodle in my classroom for the last couple of weeks! We have already been through 2 champs and are working on our 3rd. My kids absolutely love it! Maximo was my top favorite, then we tried Airtime and Flow this week. My kids love it and it opens up for some great conversations about not losing control!

  2. I LOVE GONoodle! My class has mainly been doing the active brain breaks to break up our long afternoons, but I love how you've been using the meditation and mindfulness exercises. I'm going to have to start incorporating that kind of thing more!

  3. Sold! I can't wait to try this on Monday before we start our Big State Test! Thank you Nick! This is just what my little third & fourth graders need yo help them stay calm and show what they know!


  4. I keep hearing about GoNoodle, but I haven't tried it yet. With the year winding down and my kiddos having major spring fever, I think it's time! I'll be trying this on Monday!

  5. Another online tool for yoga and mindfulness videos is Check out the site for 1-5 minute videos accessible to students prek-12!


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