Saturday, September 12, 2015

Go Noodle

Here is the last instalment on my series of technology (or for now at least)

Go Noodle is an online program that you (the teacher or parent or substitute) can register for.  Like everything else that I have talked about in this series this is absolutely free!... all that you'll require is a computer (with an internet connection) and a projector.  Your students don't need to register for the program and you do not need to type in their names into the program.  It is something that the whole class does together.

How I've used Go Noodle:
Brain breaks... a couple years ago when I was teaching grade 4 I was with my grade 4's all morning.. and we would start off our mornings with a double period of math.  After a double period of math they were pretty tired so I would put on Go Noodle to wake them up for the next class (it was spelling).  Go Noodle has improved a lot over the last year (I didn't use it with my grade 5/6 class), a couple years ago my class loved the sports ones (like the hurdles and sprint).  They especially loved that they got a place at the end of it... they eventually caught on that I was controlling it but at the beginning they were wondering how the program knew if they were running their hardest.  If a student wasn't giving it their all I would put them back a place and tell them to pick it up.

Calming the class down after recess or any other particular exciting period.  My grade 4's had gym in the afternoon when I didn't see them so I used the calming ones after recess.  One of their favourites to do after recess was the "Airtime" one.  They would take turns reading the postcards and were interested in learning about the different places.  It would have been more awesome if it were in Canada but ah well.  Now I see that there is an "Airtime Space" one which tells you facts about space on the postcard... where I teach in the grade 6 science curriculum one of the units is space... so I could see this coming in handy there.

Other things:
I liked that  the games were under 5 minutes.  They didn't take a lot of time to complete.  Sometimes we would even do them if we wrapped up a lesson early or were waiting for someone to get to our room.

I had a jar of popsicle sticks and I would pull a name out of sometimes so that they could choose one for us to do.  The rule was that they had to pick what they wanted to do quickly though... because I could see them taking forever on this.  Now that they have them in categories I might sometimes choose the category I want the student to pick from but they could choose the game (this way they wouldn't be choosing a dance one right after recess when I want them to calm down).

The students LOVED the characters.  They loved reading what the character was saying when I turned it on and watching it grow.  You can print off the characters as you complete them... we didn't do this but it is something to consider.

I also see that there is an indoor recess program. I started watching one of them and it seemed like something grade 1 students would be into... I think it would have been a stretch to convince my grade 4's to do it (although some of them may have)

I found this to work better in the elementary grades.  I had tried it the same year I was teaching grade 4 with my grade 5 French class and it did not go over well.  They were more into making fun of what was happening than calming down (I only tried the calming ones with them because I always saw that class after recess and 90% the time they were pretty wild from recess).  I think grade 4 would be my cut off year for this program.

For the record, on Friday I was subbing in a grade 4 class and I used the calming section after the 2 recess' they had and some sport ones in between some classes and it went over amazingly!  There were a couple that stayed in their seats but for the most part I had everyone participating (and loving it!)

So, have you tried Go Noodle in your classroom?
How did you use it your classroom?
What grades did you use it with?

You can find some other posts I've done on the topic of technology:
Mystery Skype
Spelling City

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