Go Noodle! I Like To Move It, Move It!

Twitter introduced me to a website called GoNoodle. Recently, I’ve seen tweets from a LOT of educators that are singing the praises of this GoNoodle thing. A lot.  This thing is quite popular in the edu Twittersphere.

gonoodlelogo

So I checked it out. I honestly didn’t get it.  It seemed silly, and parts of it are downright goofy.  It is just a collection of very short videos.  I want to say ‘music videos’, but I’m not even sure if I can call most of it music.  There was some of that Kids Bop stuff I’ve seen, but then there was an animated turkey with maracas…and a singing cartoon brain…and two guys doing talky-singsongy thing about how they love to make weird noises.  I saw a ridiculous claymation character doing some sort of sound production (song?) called Flex.  There’s even a flying pig song.  Like I said, I didn’t get it – at all.

Fast forward two weeks. Teachers on twitter are still talking about how great GoNoodle is.  Teachers tweet that their students absolutely love it, and GoNoodle has been a saving grace for the dreaded indoor recess.

I needed to take another look.

Okay, so I already had signed up for the free account and chosen a requisite class critter mascot, which GoNoodle calls a champ.  I didn’t originally understand the significance of a ‘champ, so this time, I looked at the FAQ’s on the website and it explained that….

gonoodlechamps

Okay, so the critters make sense now…and you can read more about how to use them by clicking here: Champs

Once I got to the main screen of offered categories.  It looks like this.

gonoodlemainscreen

I decided to go for broke and click on the “View All” button.  Here is some of the utterly absurd goofiness you’ll see when you click View All:

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Ooooh, I thought.  This has to do with that neuro-science stuff about how movement can enhance learning.  Short bursts of activity are supposed to get those brain juices flowing, wake up endorphins, pump adreneline, and help people focus better.  In my district, we even get evaluated on this (allow opportunities for movement) in our teacher observations.  GoNoodle calls these ‘brain breaks’.

Each of the options above, and there are plenty on the free version, shows the name and length of a video. I found a few that were even academic, like skip counting and number practice.  I found others that were actually RELAXATION videos – wondrous, calming clips that even had me feeling all zen.  For a few of those, I clicked the little heart icon and sent them to ‘my favorites’ file ~ a feature I really like because it makes it easy to quickly find those clips that really work for me (I mean, my class!)

So, still unsure about this whole thing, I decided to bring up GoNoodle at a recent teacher workshop that I did.  My friend who teachers transitional 1st graders kept saying, “Oooh, my kids would LOVE that!”  (She even liked the turkey with maracas and the singing brain!)  Well, then I showed it to a 3rd grade teacher.  I was pretty sure she’d say that it was way too silly for her 8-9 year old students and that it would only rile them up.  Quite the contrary – she thought that it would be great to use with her class, too!  (It did help that we found “Let it Go” from Frozen, “Everything is Awesome” from the Lego Movie, and some cool Zumba stuff.)  Even my principal, who stopped in for this workshop, seemed to get a kick out of the silliness and kid-friendliness of these short, sassy, movement-inducing, wiggly brain break videos.

Aha!  (There you have it…one of those aha moments.)  I get it now!  I had to turn off my middle-aged brain and think like a kid.  This stuff is FUN!  Wiggling is good!  Kids need this!  And it really IS great as an indoor recess idea, too!  I’m looking back at the 2nd paragraph of this blog, and all those things I thought were ridiculous are SUPPOSED to be ridiculous…that’s the point!  That’s what makes GoNoodle awesome!

Gotta run….it’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!  (oh yeah…uh hunh…)

peanutbutterjellytime

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Set D.U.M.B. Goals, Not S.M.A.R.T. Ones!

I came across this video on Twitter today, and I just had to share it. This guy is pretty perky, all fired up, and all kinds of inspired. You know what? I realized that that is pretty much how I want to start off my year…how I want to BE in my career! Who wouldn’t?
And so I share this thought-provoking video about setting D.U.M.B. goals.

I would really love to hear your thoughts about setting goals with this mindset. More than anything, I would LOVE to know what your D.U.M.B. Goal is! Bet it’s something brilliant!

Please share with me @kerszi on Twitter, at My Primary Techspiration on Facebook, or on my Blog page at kerszi.wordpress.com.

Stay Focused, Stay Productive, Get Things Done

This is a ridiculously simple tool, but if you’re anything like me, you’re going to find it invaluable.  I think I have time management issues.  Or procrastination issues.  Or distractibility issues.  Whatever it is, I spent today trying to get two jobs done and only got 3/4 of one of them done.  I did, however, at some point, have about 10 tabs open in Chrome.  Two of them were social media, so I found myself lost in discussions and following tweets.  As a matter of fact, I learned about this cool little web tool from a tweet by Jessica Johnson, Wisconsin’s elementary principal of the year for 2014.  I thanked her on Twitter, but I wanted to give her credit here, too……..

See?  I did it again.  I digressed.

So here’s the cool ‘keep you focused’ tool.  It’s called 1 Click Timer, and it’s a Chrome app.  That means you should open Google Chrome, just search for 1 Click Timer, and this is what you’ll see:

1 click timer searchClick on that first option, the Chrome ‘store’, and you’ll see the item and a description.  Notice that it is free, of course.  You’ll want to click on that “free” button to install it.

1 click chrome store

Now I know this next image will be a little tough to see, partly because I have several Chrome shortcuts, but I wanted to show you that a handy little auto-access button gets installed right at the top of your screen.  It’s the orange one all the way on the right (looks like a timer, of course!)

one click button

Anytime you need to keep yourself on track, really stay focused, and get something done on your computer, set the 1 Click Timer for yourself.  I find that I’m much more effective when I have a deadline to meet, and this silly little tool is a visual reminder that time is running out!

1clicktimerlarge

If you click on that little orange button, a the timer pops up in the upper right corner of your screen.  You drag the hand to set it for as much time as you need.  I’ll set mine for 50 minutes.  Of course, it’s terribly annoying to have this timer sitting right there on top of the work you’re doing, so you’ll notice that when you click anywhere else, the 1 Click Timer shrinks away but the shortcut icon now displays the time you have left….and it keeps ticking away.

1clickkeepsclicking

So, as you can see, I have less than 44 minutes now to get back to what I was supposed to be doing when I stopped to write this handy little blog post!   Whew ~ it’s a good thing I have 1 Click Timer!

As always, if you like this post and think others might like it too, I’d be much obliged if you’d click the SHARE button on Facebook (My Primary Techspiration), retweet on Twitter (I’m @kerszi), or reshare the post on WordPress.