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Teacher: Marla McVay who teaches at Seventh Street Elementary School in Oil City, PA.

Name of Best Practice: Pedometer Challenge Day

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To increase cardiovascular fitness using pedomenters.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: Pedometers, master student sheet, certificates, prizes.

Pedometer Challenge Day

Every other month the students particpate in the pedometer challenge. The goal is to keep the students in constant motion. I encourage them to either walk at a fast pace, or jog at a steady pace. The 3rd grade goal is to get 2000 steps in 20 minutes and the 4th and 5th grade goal is to get 2500 steps in 20 minutes. We do this either in the gym, or if it's a nice day we go outside. The students have 2 days to obtain a "best score." I give a certificate and a prize to students who get 20 more steps than their "best score." I also put the highest steppers from each class on a poster and display it in the gym. The highest stepper for the school is awarded a school logo water bottle (donated by the Southside Home and School.)

Variations:

Increase or decrease the amount of steps required for a certificate.

This is much better than a mile run, and students are encouraged to set Personal Records (PRs) rather than competing against others. With "every other month" recording of scores, this also could show improvement over time, which provides a nice accountability tool for the teacher.

You can encourage carry-over to the home or outside-of-school physical activity.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

The students need to understand how to use the pedometers before the challenge starts. We had a "practice day" to instruct the students on how to properly use the pedometers.

For some students you could lower stepping goal, or use alternative equipment for points i.e. broken leg could use an upper body ergometer machine and get points for how long/far he/she goes.

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Posted on PEC: 5/13/2006 and has received 58 votes.

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