I was thrilled to recently learn about a great brain break website called Go Noodle. This site offers a variety of awesome, free brain breaks to use with children. Included is their newest brain break, FLOW, which focuses on student mindfulness and stress release. After creating my free account and checking out Flow, I was excited as I thought of the great ways to use this tool in my school counseling program.
End-of-Year Testing time is a great opportunity to use FLOW. Many students, especially third graders who are testing for the first time, experience some anxiety about doing well on their tests. FLOW includes meaning activities to assist students with managing stress and maintaining the confidence they need to be successful. It can also be an excellent tool to use with individual students who come to your office feeling angry or worried. The activities in FLOW can be used for whole class lessons, small group sessions or individual counseling.
Here’s how you can get started:
Create an account. (It’s FREE!) You will be asked to enter the following information:
Once you complete this step, you will have access to the free brain breaks. You will need to create a class or you may use the demo class. Simply click on the purple “+New Class” button, name your class and add the number of people in the class.
Once your class is added to the list, you may click your class link and select a classroom champ avatar. The longer you and your students use GoNoodle, the bigger your class champ will become.
Click the green PLAY button to enter the brain break menu. Click on the FLOW link, and you are ready to begin!
Once you have entered FLOW, you may select a grade level. I tried it using both Kindergarten and 5th grade, and I did not see a difference in the videos. You will select one of the two categories (Attitude or Stress) to begin.
The background sounds in all of the activities are very relaxing. Students have the option of closing their eyes or keeping them open and watching the screen. The screen gives visuals of everything being described throughout the activity.
The ATTITUDE option includes two activities: Chin Up and Weather the Storm.
Chin Up talks students through shifting their moods. This is an excellent activity for students needing to calm down whether they are angry or worried. It is a very relaxing activity which includes head tilting and raising and lowering of the chin.
Weather the Storm is a great visual for students who are going through a difficult time. During the activity, the students watch as a small tree weathers a storm but remains strong and standing when the storm passes. (Love it!)
The STRESS option also includes two activities: Bring it Down and On & Off.
Bring it Down is great for helping students to bring down stress. Students imagine a balloon high in the sky. They imagine slowly pulling the string on the balloon until they can hold the balloon between their hands. Finally, they imagine letting it go as they watch it fly away in the air.
On & Off involves managing stress by making parts of the body tense and then letting go to relax. Students will turn on the energy in their toes, legs, hands, arms and whole body. When the energy is ON, the screen brightens up almost like the sun is in the center. When students turn their energy off, the screen becomes dark.
I am so excited to learn about this great tool to use in school counseling. There are other great games you can try like “To the Maximo” where students perform stretches and poses to help with relaxation also.
If you’d like to TRY OUT FLOW, you may follow any of the links in this post to get started or click the button below.
The developer of FLOW, Wynne Kinder, will be participating in a #GoNoodleFlow Twitter Chat on Wednesday, April 16 between 8-9PM (EST). This will be a great opportunity to learn more about this awesome new tool.
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