Chapter License: CC-BY-NC
Developer: GoNoodle, Inc.
Price: Free to access; monthly and yearly subscription options
Summary: A movement and mindfulness website designed to encourage K-5 students to become active
Go Noodle, at its core, is a movement and mindfulness website designed to help engage students into becoming active while also providing the educator cross-curricular integration with physical education.
According to the Go Noodle FAQ page, it is designed with Kindergarten to grade 5 students in mind while helping teachers get kids moving by having them partake in short movement based activities that can be done at our standing next to their own desks (Go Noodle, 2020).
Go Noodle is comprised of 4 main features: Research Based Activities, Fast, Designed for Long-Term Engagement and its ability to be used for multiple classrooms by the same teacher.
- Multiple Classroom usage: Their platform allows for a teacher to use their services and track multiple different classes’ progress through the websites reward system and champion (class virtual mascot).
- Fast: It’s fast because the set up to pull up an activity is simple and intuitive, while also features ranging activity length, some as short as one minute.
- Research Based Activities: All activities are based on exercise science and research that can help keep the participants healthy, active and engaged.
- Designed for Long-Term Engagement: Turns potential Daily Physical Activity (DPA) for students into a game that rewards them and their virtual mascot. The more engaged they are the faster their mascot levels up and grows.
Critique and Implications for Education
In 2015, an experiment took place in a fourth grade classroom looking into Go Noodle and if movement breaks could benefit the students in the classroom (Lotta, 2015). In this study, a student with Down Syndrome was noted as becoming disruptive after the Go Noodle movement break then on days when no movement break occurred. This disruption was attributed to the student’s disability and the energy the student received from the movement break (Lotta, 2015). It was also found that student grades did not improve after movement breaks using Go Noodle and that students had a more difficult time settling down after the movement break due to feeling less tired (Lotta, 2015).
Again in 2015 another study was done on the effect that Go Noodle had on the behavioural and off-task disruptions of a group of third grade students (Ward, 2015). There were 10 students in this study with seven of them male and three of them female; it was also noted that 2 of them were diagnosed with reading and behavioural difficulties (Ward, 2015). This study also incorporated the educational tool ClassDojo during its research. A similar process to the study done by Brittany Lotta in 2015 was implemented to keep track of the off task behaviour during a six week control period and during the six week experimental period. At the end of the twelve week research period, Ward compared the off task behaviour count to prior to the introduction of ClassDojo and Go Noodle to after their implementation and found that there was no significant findings that showed that these tools could help lower the amount of disruptions within the classroom (Ward, 2015). It is important to note that the article also highlighted how its validity could be tested if this experiment was done at a different time of year and/or with a different classroom (Ward, 2015).
A 2018 study done with a group of grade 6 students to see if Go Noodle could help the students improve their literacy in mathematics, English language arts as well as taking a look at the students attitude towards school (Duke, 2018). This study involved 377 different students and found that incorporating Go Noodle into the day benefited students attitudes towards school as well as their attitudes towards becoming physically active, but had little to no impact on students improvements in mathematics and English language arts (Duke, 2018).
Contrary to these experiments and studies, a 2019 research found that reading fluency in 384 second and third grade students had improved and trended towards a more positive incline due to using Go Noodle as a movement break and as an in class physical activity (Wold, 2019).
A 2016 study found that Go Noodle was successfully used to introduce health concepts in the Kindergarten to Grade 5 classroom (Whitney, 2016). This study also suggested that any assessment done using Go Noodle should be informal and formative as the educators would be able to use the informal evaluations to address concerns and review the lesson after the Go Noodle activity (Whitney, 2016). Whitney concluded by adding that the purpose of Go Noodle is “to implement strategies directed toward promoting a positive culture surrounding physical activity in the classroom” (Whitney, 2016).
It appears as though Go Noodle, while effective at energizing and engaging students, offers little possibilities in improving student performances in school, yet it has been highly recommended multiple times as a way to give students a break and to help in improving their overall physical health. It is possible that the class environment and the students in the classroom can impact the success of Go Noodle helping achieve higher fluency in subjects as well as giving the students the ability to focus better. It is also possible that, depending on the classroom, Go Noodle can have a positive impact on helping students lower their off task behaviour and disruptions, although no studies have shown this to be true yet. Its implication on education should be that Go Noodle currently only be used to help in introducing health concepts and creating a physical activity space for students within the classroom.
As an educator who has seen Go Noodle used in multiple classroom ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 6, I can attest that students are actively engaged when Go Noodle is put on and that under the right guidance has been properly used to help students calm down and focus on the next lesson or task. None of the research I found mentioned ever using the mindfulness portion of Go Noodle, only the movement portion, which leads me to believe there is still much to learn about Go Noodle and its implication on education. It is important to strike a balance between the physical activity portion of Go Noodle and its mindfulness sections. Both offer something different and effective yet only one has been at the forefront of research and studies.
Access and Cost
Go Noodle is free but there is a Go Noodle Plus which offers a lot more content for 10$ a month or 99$/year per educator (Go Noodle, 2020).
As their support page advises, Go Noodle has “always been free and always will be” while Go Noodle Plus offers additional content that can be used for cross curricular activities that integrate physical education and activity (Go Noodle, 2020)
In terms of access it is highly accessible as the base version is free and a lot of their videos can be found on Youtube which may be better for some educators who prefer not to have to create an account on Go Noodle.
It is also important to note that, regardless of the chosen pricing plan, Go Noodle is easily accessible in schools and homes as long as a tech device with a screen and internet access exists.
About the Author
Nady Tannir is a recent graduate of the Bachelor Of Education program at OntarioTech (primary/junior) while also having completed a Bachelor of Science from Laurentian University. Nady is currently working as a teacher with the Durham District School Board as well as a lifeguard and deck supervisor at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.
He is passionate about education, sports and finding ways to create the most successful atmosphere for student learning. He loves seeing the look on students faces when they achieve their goals
Duke, C. (2018). The Impact of GoNoodle on Performance with 6th-Grade Students in a Rural School. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Trevecca Nazarene University, Tennessee.
GoNoodle. (2020, October 17). About GoNoodle. Retrieved from https://support.gonoodle.com/article/241-what-is-gonoodle
Go Noodle. (2017, September 7). What is GoNoodle Plus?? | GoNoodle [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcsMXsUgFqQ
Go Noodle. (2020, March 7). Poppin’ Bubbles – The Champiverse | GoNoodle [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdBlXPWM8AI
Lotta, B. (2015). GoNoodle Movement Breaks in the Classroom. Digital Commons @BrockPort, 1-38. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1595&context=ehd_theses
Ward, J. (2015, May 1). The Effect of ClassDojo and Go Noodle on the Behavioral and Off-Task Disruptions of Third Grade Students. Retrieved from https://mdsoar.org/handle/11603/1654
Whitney, E. A. (2016). Using GoNoodle to Introduce Health Concepts in the K–5 Classroom. Strategies, 29(4), 44-48. http://www.doi.org/10.1080/08924562.2016.1182368
Wold, H. J. (2019). Reading Fluency and GoNoodle© Brain Breaks Among Elementary-Aged Children. Theses and Dissertations. 7744. Retrieved from https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/etd/7744