When her third-graders need to move, need to relax after a standardized test or have to spend recess indoors because of bad weather, Cindy King can turn to one resource to help them stay on track.
King, a third-grade teacher at Needham Elementary School, flips on Go Noodle. Instantly her students can sing and dance to a song about roller coasters, review math problems ahead of a test or can watch an interactive video about breathing and relaxing.
Go Noodle gives teachers access to hundreds of videos online that they can play for their students.
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Partnership for a Healthier Johnson County received an $8,000 Youth and Adolescent Physical Activity grant from the Indiana State Department of Health that is paying for access to Go Noodle in eight elementary school classrooms across the county in Franklin, Edinburgh and Indian Creek.
The goal was to help teachers find more ways they can get their students moving, said Ryan Skora, a co-chairman of wellness goals for Partnership for Healthier Johnson County.
“It was a way for (teachers) to build that activity into the day,” he said. “It was a way to impact a large amount of kids at once.”
The most current research shows that more children are obese than before, and developing habits early, such as in elementary school, can teach students to become life-long exercisers. And the earlier students can get in the habit, the easier it will be for them to sustain it as adults, Skora said.
“If we develop habits early, they are more likely to carry them into adulthood and it will not seem like a chore” he said.
Some elementary school classrooms have been using the resource for years. However, the funding has allowed teachers access to a more elaborate version that gives them access to more videos and will even let them plug in their own lessons to the videos.
Students across the county clocked more than 155,000 minutes using Go Noodle in a one-month period in late January to late February, Skora said.
Laura Adkins, a first-grade teacher at East Side Elementary School, often will turn on a Yoga video on Go Noodle to get her students breathing or stretching.
She also has added her own questions in some of the academic videos to help her customize the lessons to what she is working on in her classroom.
For example, her students were recently learning the “oo” sound. Before a test, she plugged in some questions to a Go Noodle video and instantly had a test review lesson for her students.
“They do not have to do a worksheet; it keeps them active in learning,” she said. “It has changed the ways I can engage my students.”
Students in King’s classroom have developed their favorite Go Noodle videos that she will flip on whenever she thinks her students need a mental break or need to get up and move.
“Sometimes, they just need to get moving around,” she said.