Ask any school-aged child what they like most about school and they’re likely to say “recess”. It’s a fact that any time away from boring classwork is something all kids like. But thanks to CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System, seven northwest parish school systems including Bossier’s have GoNoodle Plus, a unique program that brings a little bit of recess fun in the classroom. GoNoodle Plus offers a sort of break from the monotony of classwork. Hailey Carlisle is a teacher at Apollo Elementary in Bossier.
She explains how GoNoodle Plus works for her 2nd graders on a typical day. “GoNoodle Plus is an awesome program in that it gives brain-breaks for the kids, it allows them to get their wiggles out, some of their energy out so they’re not doing that while I’m teaching.” In a nutshell, GoNoodle Plus allows children to channel otherwise distracting classroom energy into short, interactive physical movement that is not only designed to boost cognitive processing, focus and academic performance; it also helps promote student health too.
Amy Heron is Executive Director of the CHRISTUS Foundation Shreveport-Bossier. “As the region’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, we understand the importance of meeting kids where they are to address their wellness needs” explains Amy. CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier invested $450,000 for the GoNoodle Plus over a course of three years. Because of this donation, teachers and students in Bossier Parish have access to over 300 online movement videos that bring physical movement and core-subjects together to develop fluency in grade-specific math and ELA topics. And, the program allows teachers to adjust the GoNoodle Plus activities explains Hailey, “I can create quizzes, that the kids can answer while they’re moving, wiggling, and dancing.” Hailey also added, “It’s really a great program for me to use throughout the whole school day because it’s super quick, it’s so easy, they love it and get super-excited whenever I say okay….let’s do a GoNoodle!”.
And super-excited they are as whenever the teacher announces the start of a GoNoodle Plus video, the children’s faces light up as they jump up by their desks and start moving to the video. “Whenever we’re finishing one subject, I’ll do a GoNoodle to transition into the next thing,” explains Hailey, “normally after we’ve been doing math, we’ve been sitting for 45 minutes to an hour and they need to move, I need to move.”
By using classroom technology like “smart-boards” that allow motion video and multimedia, GoNoodle Plus is comprehensive tool for teachers to prevent distractive energy through physical activity and engage student’s brains at the same time. Hailey enthusiastically agrees, “I think this enhances the learning experience because if I’m not giving students the opportunity to get their energy out, they’re going to do that while I’m teaching.” She adds, “If I can give them the opportunity to get their wiggles out for a couple of minutes, I can teach for a longer period of time, we don’t have the behavior issues, they’re able to focus more and learn more.”
First-hand observations aside, there have been studies . Amy Heron explained, “ Studies by a hospital in Ft. Worth Texas showed an increase in reading skills of students who utilized GoNoodle Plus over the students who didn’t. It also showed a decrease in obesity.” What’s even better is the kids seem to like GoNoodle Plus in the classroom because like recess, it’s fun.