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Teacher: Nina Carter who teaches at Botetourt Elementary in Gloucester, VA. Nina Carter can be contacted at ncarter@gc.k12.va.us.

Name of Best Practice: Step Into Fitness with Pedometers

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To encourage students and parents to exercise at home.

Suggested Grade Level: 4-5

Materials Needed: Pedometers and a score sheet.

Step Into Fitness with Pedometers

I have been using pedometers during class with my students for two years. This is an activity that they love and are motivated to work very hard. Since my students only receive PE once a week I wanted to provide an opportunity for them to be motivated to exercise more frequently.

First, I sent home a brochure to the parents highlighting the health benefits of walking. It also included some statistics on childhood obesity and heart disease risk factors that is becoming increasing apparent in children. Also in the brochure was a permission slip to allow their child to take home a pedometer for one week. The parents also had the opportunity to check out a pedometer for their own use and were encouraged to exercise with their child. Along with wearing the pedometers the student was expected to chart their steps for the 1 week period with a goal of 10,000 steps each day. Those students who returned their chart were allowed to check out the pedometer again when available.

This program has been an overwhelming success. All 75 pedometers went home with students immediately with over half of the parents wanting one also. Of all the students who returned their homework chart, over 80% opted to take home the pedometers again.

When a pedometer is checked out, I send home the record keeping chart, directions for wearing the pedometer, and helpful websites to learn more about fitness and nutrition.

When the students return their charts, we talk about whether or not it was difficult for them to reach the 10,000 steps and notice which days were easier than others. I place their completed charts on a bulletin board in the gym.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Make sure you have a good record keeping system organized so you know who has returned the pedometer and who has completed their homework assignment of charting their steps.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Wheel chair bound students can wear the pedometer on their arm and adapt with other special needs students as needed.

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Posted on PEC: 1/6/2006 and has received 53 votes.

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