Fort Worth, Texas,
18
June
2014
|
06:35 PM
America/Chicago

Now that’s using the GoNoodle

The kids at A.V.Cato elementary know how to take a break

In the morning, they begin with stretching, but by the middle of the afternoon they are running with real-life Olympians or breathing their way across the United States – all from the comfort of their own classroom. GoNoodle is a new interactive resource that allows children to not only increase their physical activity, but improve their academic performance.

Thanks to a sponsorship from Cook Children’s, 60,136 kids in Tarrant County enjoyed GoNoodle this past year. GoNoodle allows children the opportunity to participate in a fun, interactive “brain breaks,” while measuring the minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. The brain breaks include running, dancing, stretching and calming exercises. Kids play the games that include spelling, vocabulary and math with physical activity.

“Other programs seem to focus on one or the other – activity or academics; but GoNoodle was unique because it focused on both areas,” said Larry Tubb, senior vice president of the Center for Children’s Health. “We look at bringing GoNoodle as an extension of our Promise, to help the well-being of every child. That doesn’t always mean treating them to get better in a doctor’s office. It also means helping them get better in the classroom. By bringing this physical activity to schools, we are improving the health of these kids. That helps our children and our community.”

GoNoodle brain breaks give the children activities to help keep them focused during the day. They have breaks that help them stretch, release energy or reduce stress. Some of the breaks align with core subjects such as spelling, math, vocabulary, geography, math, reading and even nutrition.

Breaks include:

Airtime. Students “breathe” their way across the United States. They pick their state and begin breathing in and out. The simulation of blowing out blows a balloon on a screen across the country, giving fun facts along the way.

Run with us. Real-life Olympians, on a screen, coach children in track and field events such as the hammer throw, 200-meter sprint and javelin.

To The Maximo. Children perform stretching activities to get their body and mind going early in the morning.

The faculty at A.V.Cato elementary have seen the benefits of GoNoodle. Michelle Miles, the school’s counselor, said she saw the breathing exercises work during the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness tests. The kids did their breathing exercises to calm them before the tests and give them the chance to perform their best.

“GoNoodle has been the greatest opportunity for ADHD students because you can just tell when those students become disengaged from a lesson and are just tired and antsy and unmotivated,” Miles said. “If you can just get them up in between transitions for a few seconds at a time and give them an opportunity to either get the wiggles out or start focusing on how they are going to move forward, it tends to help them just get the energy out; and have it be OK and accepted before they move on to the next lesson. This has been ideal for some of our younger kids who have all that extra energy bottled up.”

Amber Grier, an elementary teacher at A.V. Cato, said she recently saw the benefits of GoNoodle. She had been working with her students throughout the day on mixed fractions and adding fractions. One child in particular just didn’t seem to understand the lesson. She had exhausted her efforts for the day. Then they began to play one of the GoNoodle games and was pleasantly surprised to see the child get every answer correct.

“I had a huge smile on my face because I was so relieved to know that he had learned what we were doing,” she said. “But he wasn’t able to produce the answer quickly until he got moving and stopped worrying about making me happy. He was just playing the game and he was able to get all the answers. True learning is play.”

The Center for Chlidren's Health

The Center for Children’s Health, led by Cook Children’s, is home to the Community-wide Children’s Health Assessment & Planning Survey (CCHAPS), Community Health Outreach and Community Health Research. The center’s goal is to create aligned collaborations that will allow it to make the North Texas region one of the healthiest places to raise a child. 

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