Monday, October 17, 2016

Using GoNoodle to Support the Workshop Model

There is no doubt about it, the workshop model is a form of best practice that many of us educators practice.  What is the workshop model you ask?  The workshop model is a teaching structure that allows students to take charge or their own learning.  This structure is composed of three parts: Mini lesson, Work time, and Reflection/Debrief.  Through this structure students learn to have a growth mindset and to be responsible for their own learning.  As the teacher, we are able to work with students individually and in small groups in order to provide learning at each student's zone of proximal development.
So how do you keep students on task and using their growth mindset during reading, math, and writers' workshop?  Well, engaging lessons for one thing.  Choices during work time for another, but the one thing that supports not only the students' attentiveness, but also the teacher's is GoNoodle.
Over the years, as I have developed a stronger workshop model in my classroom, I have learned that GoNoodle is the piece that holds it all together.  Let's walk through the three components so that I can explain which videos I use and why...shall we?!?

Mini lesson

My goal with my mini lessons is to hook my students, but keep them working toward the lesson outcome...enter Maximo and Think About It.  These two channels are packed with videos to keep my kiddos engaged in my mini lesson.  I love that both channels also allow us to set an intention.  I often use the language used in the Think About It videos throughout the day to remind my students of their learning potential.

Work Time

As we transition from the mini lesson to work time, I make sure to do two brain breaks, one to get the wiggles out and the second to calm the students back to a focused learning state.  My go to for wiggle release is Koo Koo Kanga Roo, and lately, the Trolls Can't Stop this Feeling.
Right before starting my conferences and small group instruction, we typically use the YouTube channel.  I have been able to add content specific songs and dances that connect directly to our learning targets.  There are tons of fabulous math videos that reinforce counting, numbers pairs, place value, and so much more.
Did you know that you can add your own videos to GoNoodle?  Just head to the YouTube channel, click on the top left box, and add the YouTube URL from the video of your choosing.
As students work, and I meet with students, I am able to monitor their noise and frustration level and determine if we need another GoNoodle break.  I love using Dance Party as a quick way to refocus the whole group, and I love getting up and dancing, too.  Plus, who doesn't love seeing their champ pop into the dance party?!?!  I even added my son's champ to my class's Dance Party for this reason.


The reflection can often be forgotten in lessons, but I have learned that it holds just as much value as the other two pieces of the workshop model.  The reflection allows students to have a sense of closure from the lesson, and it allows the teacher to formally and informally observe where the next lesson is going to go.  As a class, we rewatch our Think About It from our mini lesson and reflect on the intention that we initially set.   This has taught my class that there is a purpose to our brain breaks.  We don't just do them to do them.

I am so grateful for the sanity that GoNoodle brings to my classroom on a daily basis!  Do you teach using the Workshop Model?  What are your go to GoNoodle channels and videos?  You can also head over to the GoNoodle Community page, on Facebook and share your ideas there.

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