Who needs a brain break?

Brain Breaks are a useful tool for students to use to help activate, energize and stimulate their brains. Research indicates that brain breaks help students relieve stress.  Exercise boosts brain power.  Cardio activity increases oxygen-rich blood flow to the brain and increases students’ ability to concentrate.  What does this look like in the classroom?  Go Noodle helps answer that question.

What is Go Noodle?

Go Noodle is an online tool that is filled with safe videos that help students find their focus, by stretching, moving, and breathing.  Videos range from 2 minutes to 5 minutes, giving teachers lots of flexibility in planning.

How to get started with Go Noodle

Getting started is quick, easy, and free!  You begin with your information:


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Next, it’s time to name your class:

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After naming your class, it will be time for your students’ favorite part: it’s time to pick your CHAMP!  You can change your Champ at any time.  As your class accumulates minutes from videos, your Champ’s muscles will grow; students love that!

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Before each video, you will see your Champ, along with a fun fact:

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Suggested First Steps

It is helpful to review the videos before trying them with students.  There are some videos that are more appropriate for older students, such as “Cha Cha Slide,” while others may be best suited for primary students, including “Don’t Give Up,” with Bruno Mars and The Muppets.

It won’t be long before students pick out their favorites, such as “Let it Go,” “Everything is Awesome,” or “The Continental Drift,” all from recent popular movies.

Think about times throughout the day when students are asked to sit for long periods of time; these are great opportunities to try Go Noodle.

Why it Matters (Teaching Rubric)

Teachers are responsible for presenting instructional content that uses a variety of ways to engage students and maintain their interest, extend and apply content, concepts, and academic vocabulary appropriately. (2.2)

For lesson pacing and structure, Go Noodle provides an appropriate way to structure transition time between activities so that instructional time can have its greatest impact. (1.1)

Additional Resources

Go Noodle has a YouTube Channel.  This is a great tool to use to view some of the videos.  All the videos are included on their website.

Go Noodle has a Facebook page that has helpful suggestions and this page is used to announce new videos.

The Go Noodle Blog is a very helpful resource, filled with recommended strategies for the videos.

Have questions or suggestions on how to improve this tool?  Follow Go Noodle on Twitter.  They add new videos and resources quite often, and they rely on teachers’ feedback for improvement.

Your Challenge

Reflect on your daily schedule.  When would be a good time to get students up and get them moving?

Is there a test coming up in which the breathing and stretching exercises could benefit your students?  Give Go Noodle a try.  Get that cardio going!

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DeLyn Beard
DeLyn serves as an eLearning Coach in the Central Attendance District, after 17 years of teaching students in grades K through 8 in both general and special education settings. She is also a Fablevision Ambassador for Fablevision Learning. DeLyn’s passion is fueled by empowering students to lead others in the digital age. In 2011, DeLyn started an after-school tech club, Oak Hill eLeaders. This team of 4th and 5th grade students travel to educational conferences around the country to teach teachers how to implement technology into their classrooms. In April, 2014, DeLyn and her Oak Hill eLeaders were recognized by the Evansville community when they received the Leaders in Technology Award sponsored by Leadership Evansville. For more information on Oak Hill eLeaders, visit www.oakhilleleaders.weebly.com DeLyn holds a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership and a Masters of Science in Special Education, both from Indiana State University.


  1. We started Go Noodle brain breaks last year during testing time. Teachers and students alike enjoyed the engaging and fun breaks so much that we have bought a subscription to it this year. Now every grade level uses it at various times during the day. The teachers really enjoy using them to gather the class back after a recess or lunch period. It lets the students get that little bit of extra energy out and then get back together as a class. They like searching for the just right video for their class. While we have the paid subscription there are plenty of great videos for free on the site. I highly recommend it for any grade level.

  2. I am a big fan of Brain Breaks. They are a great way to help students focus. I especially appreciate Brain Beaks after the students have had indoor recess. I will put on a Brain Break and afterwards they always seem to be able to focus better. Go Noodle is a resource I have used in my room for a couple of years. It is my go to Brain Break source. I do think that Go Noodle offers enough in the free version without it being necessary to buy the premium package. I love the variety of video Brain Breaks they feature and appreciate that they change them often.

    • Thank you for sharing your reflections, Pat. I’m so glad to hear this tool has been successful for you and your kiddos! I agree with you; I’ve used the free version and my students and I loved all the videos.

  3. Like some of the other high school teachers have stated, the older students might be apprehensive about participating because they would be worried about looking silly or not being cool. However, I think they would appreciate some of these during finals week. I would need to be selective when picking them. I think they would like the relaxation & mediation ones I have see. Some of them would participate in the Yoga. High Schoolers can be lazy at times. I could even see doing this right before a test. They have slower ones geared toward focusing. They would be down with that.

  4. I love Go Noodle for a Brain Break! It depends on the class as to how long the students should be in class before getting a brain break! The lower grade students might need a two minute brain break after a little over an hour of work. I love the video on ants in your pants, which is geared toward the younger students. The children could even dance with the guy on the video and get their momentum going. Of course the girls will love the Frozen video

  5. I need to work more on allowing for brain breaks with my students. My first thoughts of Go Noodle when I have seen it is that it seems very elementary to me, but after checking out some of the videos, I could see my middle schoolers getting into it. I will have to give this one a try over the next couple of days to see how it works with my groups.

  6. I agree brain breaks are needed to break up a 90 minute period at the high school level. In my lesson plans, I plan in time for people to get up an rotate, get supplies, turn something in in the middle of class, something to get up. And I have a relaxed enough classroom that if someone needs to get up and throw something away they do. I can’t imagine taking a few minutes to do a video in my classroom.

  7. I know I need a brain break from time to time! I think many of the teachers in my district already employ a similar strategy in their classrooms, only minus this tool. They tell kids to get up, stretch, etc. However, I love that these videos provide something for the kiddos to focus on while they are engaged in the activity. In my own classroom, I would have the kids stretch, stand up, walk around, etc., but frequently they weren’t truly focused on the task at hand because they were more engaged with looking at and talking to their peers. This is a great idea. I can see myself using this in professional development sessions as well to get my teachers up and moving, while also sharing/modeling a cool new tool/resource to use in their classrooms! Love it!

  8. I’m not sure how Go Noodle would go over with my high school students. Oddly enough, I think many of my upperclassmen would be more willing to engage with the videos. My freshmen have the “cool” vibe down pat, which is unfortunate because they are the ones who need the movement/refocus breaks. I like the concept of the site, though. I know a teacher in California who starts her yearbook and journalism classes with one minute of yoga, and that seems to help them focus.

    • Thanks for your thoughts.
      There are some popular videos included that may appeal to older students, such as “Brave,” by Sara Bareilles. Another popular one is “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams. You can also make suggestions; they seek feedback as they add new videos.

  9. This is a great site for the brain break activities we ALL need. I was unable to view the video clip link as it was again blocked by the filters, however, I went directly to GoNoodle and signed up. It was very easy and there were quick clips already on file to use. Very engaging for students and teachers.

    • Your students will love the videos! It’s impossible to “move” along with a video without smiling! My 4th graders never wanted to stop at just one video. I love this tool!

  10. Signing up and watching a handful of videos, I think this would be a fun activity and brain break for classes but I’m finding more of the videos tailoring to younger students. There are lots of different sections that probably the YouTube section would be where teachers of older students would lean towards. I’m trying to think of how to implement it and think that having it be part oft he beginning or end of the class period would be the most effective time and making it part of a routine that a student can choose which video the whole class watches. There are usually those few couple minutes at either end that this could be plugged into.

    However, I’m a little confused with the characters if the whole class is watching it together or does each student create an account where they watch the videos individually? Space in a classroom would make me lean towards the whole class doing this together with it projected. How has this been done in other classes?

    • I love the idea of having a student pick the video(s). I did that on days when a student had a birthday.

      I’ve seen it used most often as a class activity; the class has one “creature” and as minutes are accumulated, his/her muscles grow larger. I had more than one class of fourth graders, so I had two different classes and creatures. The students loved challenging the other class and always wanted to see who had earned more exercise minutes. You can create more than one class using just one account. Does that make sense?

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