On any given day, you can walk down the colorful, brightly lit halls of Coyote Springs Elementary School in Prescott Valley, Arizona and hear students breathlessly shouting math facts amid cheering and clapping, or happily spelling this week’s vocabulary words aloud with an automated robot. How do the teachers at Coyote Springs elicit such enthusiasm from their students?
Coyote Springs fourth grade teacher Brittany Kominska has the passion for teaching and the love for children that can inspire any room full of children. But Kominska says that her go-to resource for getting her students back on track during a long day is GoNoodle, a web-based suite of hundreds of movement games and videos that get kids dancing, running, jumping, stretching, deep breathing, and more. Launched in 2013, GoNoodle is used in 75% of the public elementary schools across the U.S.
“There are so many reasons why I’ve incorporated GoNoodle in my classroom,” says Kominska, “Daily classroom life can be so monotonous. In a few short minutes, GoNoodle breaks up the boredom. The probability of my students retaining what I teach is slim if I just talk to them all day. It’s not always practical to take the time to go outside, so I’m so thankful we can just throw on a GoNoodle game. The kids are out of their seats right away, their blood is pumping and they’re ready to learn again. They think it’s super fun.”
GoNoodle is a free resource for any educator in the Quad-City area, thanks to a sponsorship from Yavapai Regional Medical Center.
“GoNoodle aligns very well with our Vision of a Total Healing Environment which is based on caring for the body, mind and spirit. YRMC is proud to sponsor programs like GoNoodle, as well as Partners for Healthy Students and the YRMC Family Resource Center that enrich the lives of children and young families in our community,” states Robbie Nicol, Executive Director, Community Outreach and Philanthropy at YRMC.
Coyote Springs principal Candice Blakely-Stump recognizes the value of this partnership. “The bottom line is that without community connections like our partnership with YRMC, we couldn’t do what we do,” says Blakely-Stump, “This relationship is vital. The phrase may be overused, but it’s very true. It does take a village to serve our children.”
In addition to games and videos, the premium version of GoNoodle that YRMC provides, called GoNoodle Plus, gives teachers access to customizable programs. Teachers can input specific curriculum content as often as they’d like, making the games relevant to what the students are learning at any given time. “This is my favorite thing about GoNoodle,” says Kominska, “We’re not stopping the learning process at all. I tell them, ‘I tricked you – you are actually still learning!’“ Teachers can also log and track students’ physical activity, providing incentives for exercise.
GoNoodle Regional Community Manager Cameron Waldo recently visited Kominska’s class. The students demonstrated their favorite GoNoodle activities, and Waldo answered students’ questions about what it’s like to work at GoNoodle.
“Brittany's kids were great,” says Waldo, “They asked me a ton of questions and we danced, laughed, and had a goofy photo session. They were bright and curious! More and more educators like Brittany are finding out that investing in GoNoodle returns productive students with less behavior problems.”
GoNoodle offers a free subscription for families so that parents and children can have access to ‘brain breaks’ and exercise videos at home. “Parents can feel good about their kids playing GoNoodle at home - it's a safe, interactive way to get moving beyond the classroom,” says Waldo.
The home version also allows users to preview new GoNoodle programs and activities before they become available in the classroom. Nearly 1 million families across the country have signed up to use GoNoodle at home. More information and sign up can be accessed at www.GoNoodle.com.
Coyote Springs fourth grader Alano uses GoNoodle at home. He says, “I like doing GoNoodle at home because it is fun to do with my family.” His classmate Kyla agrees, “I like doing GoNoodle at home because I thought that if it’s fun at school, why can’t it be fun at home? And sure enough it is fun!”
Kominska describes what might be the most important feature of using GoNoodle in the classroom and at home, “What I am counting on is that by creating these positive experiences now, I am instilling a love of health and exercise that will continue throughout my students’ lives, long after they leave Coyote Springs.”