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Teacher: Lindsay Grant who teaches at Mirror Lake Elementary School in Villa Rica, GA. Lindsay Grant can be contacted at Lindsay_Grant@douglas.k12.ga.us.

Name of Best Practice: Fast Track to Fitness

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To get students excited about physical fitness and encourage them to pursue lifelong fitness by motivating the students to persevere and embrace physical activity.

Suggested Grade Level: K-5

Materials Needed: Handouts below (Parent Letter, Sample Pictures of Cars, Sample of an Activity Sheet)

Fast Track to Fitness

First of all, I do not make this program mandatory to the students. I offer it as an option for them to improve their physical abilities. Throughout the school year, the students are given an opportunity to complete 7 uniquely different activity sheets (approx. 2 activity sheets every 9 weeks). With the first activity sheet, I provide a parent letter explaining the whole process to them.

See Parent Letter (PDF)

The child is given a certain amount of time to complete the activity sheet. I give my students 4 weeks! The parents do have a responsibility with this program. They have to observe and initial that their child has completed the activity. I did this for accountability reasons and also in hopes that the parents might be encouraged to participate with the kids!!

See Example of an Activity Sheet attached (PDF)

Completion of their first activity sheet establishes their participation into the program. They also pick out a car to stick onto a painted track that is displayed on our gym wall. I have actually painted this track and used velcro as the track itself, and stuck the cars onto the velcro, but a bulletin board would also work perfectly! For each completed activity sheet thereafter, the child will receive a small plastic foot charm. They can put them onto their shoelaces or place them on a beaded chain. You can find these at Fitness Finders Web site! Again you don't have to use this, you can come up with your own award options! I just really liked these. Along with their foot charm, the child moves their car forward a 1/7 of the track on the wall. This allows the whole school to see their progress. If the child completes 6 out of 7 activity sheets, then I give them a special ribbon on Awards Day and they are invited to a party at the end of the year!

Here are some example CARS that you could consider using (very large PDF file so be patient)

My inspiration for this idea came from wanting to have something that all students would be able to do despite their economic status! Because this program costs no money to them and because they can do this at home, I thought it would give more students the option to participate. I want all students to feel like they were succeeding in something and by displaying their success for the whole school to see, was really something that I thought would mean a lot to the students!

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

For students with disabilities, I would have a separate activity sheet for them with modifications.

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Posted on PEC: 10/17/2006 and has received 63 votes.

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