Thursday, November 3, 2016

Energizers - a new site to explore

A few years ago ASB began its journey with Responsive Classroom.  This approach to teaching addresses academic, social and emotional growth with an emphasis on HOW children learn, as much as WHAT they learn.  The idea behind Responsive Classroom is that academic success is tied to building social and emotional competences.

One feature of the RC training is energizers, which can be used to pump up the energy in a class, or alternatively to calm students down.  The idea behind energizers is that students need frequent physical and mental breaks so that they can continue to function well, both socially and academically. Energizers are short, playful, whole-group activities that are used as breaks in lessons.  Energizers improve behaviour and attention, strengthen classroom cohesion and lead to better academic performance.

Today I was in a 4th Grade class and found they were using a new website for their energizers - it's called GoNoodle.  I stayed and participated in this activity and was really impressed.  The students had just come in from recess, where they had been running around.  Before they were ready to sit at their desks and research for their unit of inquiry, it was necessary to get them to calm down and focus.  For this the class teacher chose the calming activities on GoNoodle.  There are 47 different activities here - she asked the students to choose one (they chose Manage Frustration which is just under 4 minutes). We did several poses together and reflected on what to do when a challenge is frustrating (take a break and start again).  There are hundreds energizers on this website ranging in duration from 1 - 10 minutes and categorized into dance, free movement, sport and exercise, stretching, kinesthetic learning, coordination and calming - at various energy levels.  You could quite literally do one a day for the whole school year and never need to repeat one - though in fact I noticed that students had favourites that they asked for again and again.  Best of all GoNoodle is completely free.  It's certainly worth giving this site a test run in your classroom.

1 comment:

  1. Yes - this is a wonderful too. We used it at our school in Delhi. especially before MAP tests. the kids were very relaxed and rejuvenated . Thanks for sharing it to a wider audience