I have a love hate relationship with GoNoodle. Yes, it gets the kids’ moving while they are required to stay near their seats, but I don’t love that the kids are following rather than creating. So, I’ve been playing with how to make movement breaks more child-centered and bring a little laughter into the room.
As I watched the GoNoodle videos for what felt like the hundredth time, I thought, “what would happen if I made GoNoodle a mentor text for kids?” Then I sent this simple invitation out on SeeSaw.
The next morning, I opened SeeSaw and got zero responses. But two days later, one brave student created a video. I didn’t say anything to the kids, but instead of GoNoodle, I played this child’s video. Oh, the smiles hiding under those masks! The kids jumped out of their seats and giggled while doing jumping jacks and push-ups.
This is exactly the spark I needed to change movement breaks. The next evening there were two more videos, and the day after that, two more.
I have to say these videos are now a highlight of my evenings. My husband and I crack up as we watch these kids teach calisthenics and dance moves. Often younger siblings make guest appearances and even begin teaching.
This small move has brought more laughter into the classroom too. We get to peek into each other’s homes, meet brothers and sisters, and even see our classmates’ favorite pajamas.
This optional task on SeeSaw has launched other projects too. Several students wrote the next day’s morning messages for the whole class to read. Some kids send me notes, and I am even getting child-written songs and poems. Thanks, GoNoodle. When you became a mentor text, laughter and creativity bloomed.
I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic