Website review by Ericka D, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2021

GoNoodle

Brief bursts of physical exercise add classroom fun, build brainpower

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 47 reviews
Privacy rating
49%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
Pre-K–6
Subjects & Skills
Health & Wellness, Character & SEL

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Pros: Videos and games are silly enough to get students moving, and the benefits of "brain breaks" are well documented.

Cons: This burst of exercise requires a steady internet connection; otherwise, you'll experience some choppy videos.

Bottom Line: In a genre of its own, GoNoodle is a ready-to-go, classroom-friendly exercise program that challenges students to get moving.

GoNoodle is best presented on an interactive board the entire class can view together. Teachers choose a game that then walks students through introductions, warm-up routines, and the game itself. Teachers' roles vary. In the breathing game, they can join in with students. For the running game, they're responsible for evaluating the effort of the class and advancing the representative runner in the track meet. A tally in the dashboard section keeps track of the minutes of each activity, points gained, and medals won, which is a nice incentive for the class and a great way for teachers to share the activity summary with students. Students can also create accounts at home, which can be a fun way for them to keep motivated with physical activity and mindful behaviors over the weekends and holidays.

Use GoNoodle to transition from one activity to the next; for instance, when kids come in from recess, choose an activity that might help them get ready to focus again. Or, get them moving during an afternoon lull or before a test to get the blood pumping. You can also give students opportunities to lead the activities while you do a short administrative task, like take attendance or check entrance slips.

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GoNoodle is a series of web-based videos, games, and activities focused on introducing short bursts of physical exercise in the classroom. For children of all ages who need to burn up energy to concentrate on learning, this is a simple solution. The site is meant to be used for physical activity in five- to 10-minute bursts, particularly during transition periods. Teachers create a classroom mascot, and students level it up by completing activity challenges. (Don't worry: When one mascot is maxed out, you can move on to another.) This mechanism is fun but not the main incentive behind GoNoodle. 

What really stands out is the sheer variety of activities students can participate in. From dancing to yoga to Wii Sports-type running games, there's a ton to do. There are also videos that incorporate academic subjects with movement, such as competition games identifying plural nouns, or games where students use their whole body to form letters. And, there's a channel entirely in Spanish. Teachers can explore the featured videos on the main page, or browse videos by category such as movement type or academic subject. Or they can choose a particular channel, each of which has a unique look and approach to encouraging movement. In addition, there are curricular resources available that offer ideas for how to incorporate GoNoodle into your classroom, printables to enhance a lesson, and customizable quiz questions. Teachers already familiar with GoNoodle should note that at the time of this review, the premium paid features are being phased out and starting in the 2021-2022 school year, all content in GoNoodle will be free. GoNoodle is available on a variety of platforms including iOS and Android tablets as well as Apple TV and Roku. Versions on these other platforms include the videos and the majority of GoNoodle's videos, but may not include some of the extra curriculum aligned content. 

GoNoodle is a great way to give students a quick burst of physical activity, which can help keep them focused throughout a long academic day. Featuring a huge variety of activities, it allows teachers to include YouTube videos, such as the Just Dance videos, in their repertoire. A good number of videos also incorporate academic subjects with movement, which can be a nice way to mix things up a bit as well as an opportunity to reach students that don't respond well to more traditional teaching methods. In fact, the benefits of physical fitness and relaxation on learning are well documented, and GoNoodle provides teachers with a fun, interactive way to get students moving.

It's unlikely every kid will enjoy every activity, but in view of the large variety of activities, and as long as teachers remember to mix things up, there should be an activity to appeal to every student. Activities are being constantly updated, too. New videos often add variety to the types of topics covered. For instance, an increasing number of activities are designed to help students consider mindfulness, such as how to manage their emotions or calm themselves. These self-managing behaviors are integral to success not only in the classroom, but in a student's future as well. And the Spanish content makes the videos accessible to more students and allows for a bilingual experience. Overall, it's an excellent classroom resource.

Overall Rating

Engagement

High-energy videos and interactive activities capture students' attention and get them moving in this fun, cooperative physical activity-based game.

Pedagogy

It nicely connects the ideas of physical activity and academic performance. Exercise breaks vary in time and style -- you can choose to get students' energy up or calm them down before a test.

Support

Each game comes with some text explanations that outlines not only how to play the game but also what physical benefits a particular activity has on learning. Some videos in Spanish.


Common Sense reviewer
Ericka D Counselor, psychologist, or social worker

Community Rating

(See all 47 reviews) (47 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Kaylee S. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Columbia School
West Jordan, United States
Love using this for engaging all types of learners!
I like that there are a variety of different types of videos for different purposes all on one site. This site could serve us better by including more educational videos rather than so many silly videos. It also looks like some of the Go Noodle videos on Youtube are not on the Go Noodle site. So, I wish they would keep all of their old videos on the site.
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Users can create or upload content.
Processes to access and review user data are available.
Processes to modify inaccurate data are available.
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Unclear whether data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
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