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Teacher: Joseph Gallo who teaches at Edgewood Elementary School in Yardley, PA. Joseph Gallo can be contacted at kjatoz@yahoo.com.

Name of Best Practice: Pennsylvania Walkers Club

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To excite students about movement and exercise while integrating academic topics into the Physical Education setting.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: Map of PA (or home state), Cones, Tally sheets, Stickers to mark progress, City names/landmarks, Pencils, and Paper

Pennsylvania Walkers Club

In September or October I send out an invitation for other PE teachers to participate with us in the Pennsylvania Walkers Club. This is done via email through 2 listservs I have subscribe to. Anyone responding within a specified time period is part of this program for that year. At this time we only allow those teachers who are in Pennsylvania to participate.

After determining which cities these participants are from I predetermine a route that we will follow in order to visit all of these cities and schools. This is all done on a big map of Pennsylvania.

Students are then told that they are going to take a walking journey of Pennsylvania and they are going to visit these cities and schools along the way. They will do this by walking in Physical Education class, at recess, and/or at home. In PE class (during warm ups) and at recess, they walk around the track (which I know is so many yards in length). Each lap they complete they get a Mile Smile slip. These sheets of paper have encouraging slogans on them. At the end of the PE Class and/or recess, students drop their slips into a bucket. The strips are then counted to get a subtotal. At this point I know how many yards the students have traveled during that time period.

The students then are responsible for translating that yardage into mileage. This is done in their classroom with their teacher during math class.

Students figure out the distances from school to school using my predetermined route to know which school is next to travel to. They also mark historical or significant landmarks on the map. We add up the miles of all the students and then begin marking our progress on the big map of Pennsylvania. We also announce our progress periodically through our school newsletter and during morning announcements. Each group of miles is marked with exercise stickers.

We correspond with the the participating schools using letters, e-mails, post cards, etc. Information about our schools, poems, or projects about exercise and the heart have been exchanged. "Get to know you letters" are also mailed. As you can tell we work closely with the classroom teachers in our school. In addition, Pennsylvania student designed fact sheets, puzzles, graphs, projects, and pictures are sent. It is a great cross curricular activity that has the students and the teachers in our school excited.

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Posted on PEC: 10/6/2001 and has received 80 votes.

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