Sunday, October 14, 2012

Taking Free Fitness to the Kids

My tenure as the PE teacher is coming to an end and I'll be back in my regular role as in school support, but before I leave, I get to apply what I do with November Project with the kids.  The idea that fitness is free, fun and something you can do on your own.

The kids have 6 stations: a scooter board, a step up station, a deck of cards work out, fitness balls, track and rest/water station.  It works the whole body but, most importantly, that deck of cards work out is something that is now working it's way into the curriculum across the board.  The workout modifies by age: for K-2 red = jumping jacks and 3-5 red = sit ups.  The black cards for K-2 = crossovers (elbow to opposite knee) and push ups for grades 3-5.

The other day, when we started this unit, I did the step up with the kids to remind them to go at a steady pace and make sure they had their fee fully placed on the mats without jumping.  We talked while doing this station, again to help them learn to pace, about how this is something you can do for free at home or anywhere there's a step.  I spoke about how I do the sections of Harvard Stadium and some of the kids translated this to: so if I walk up and down the stairs at home, I'm getting a workout.

On the deck of cards, the kids had mixed feelings about the randomness of what they had to do but were also up for the challenge.  Again we talked about how you can do this at home with any deck of cards.  We talked about how they can get out and walk or run around the block or even find ways to scoot around sitting on a skateboard to work their quads.

People spend a lot of money on gyms, personal trainers and boot camps only to give up or realize they can't keep up with the costs.  My hope is that these kids will take one major point away: I don't need to pay money or need fancy equipment to stay fit.  It's a life-long activity.

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