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Teacher: Sean Conlin who teaches at Mary R. Fisher Elementary School in North Grosvenordale, CT. Sean Conlin can be contacted at Seanconlin@comcast.net.

Name of Best Practice: School Fitness Center

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To motivate students to be more physically fit, self responsible, and manage their time more effectively. This is a collaboration with the classroom teacher.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: * 2 water bottles, * 2 5lb. weights, * Ultra Fit band, * picture and descriptions of exercises that can be safely done with exercise bands and hand weights, Note: Ultra Fit sells a complete package of 24 bands and descriptions with picture if you don't want to make the visuals yourself.

School Fitness Center

Each class is given has the materials listed above. When a student has finished his/her work and the teacher approves he/she can use the School Fitness Center. The School Fitness Center is a designated area IN the classroom OR in the hallway where students can do recommended exercises and where the teacher still can supervise. All exercises are pictured and described in a three ring binder. Some teachers allow the students to walk in indoor designated areas as part of the program. Teachers are encouraged to participate in this program although many of them have found it difficult unless they do it with a partner before or after school.

The primary idea is to build an exercise "station" into the classroom, not necessarily to have the students leave the supervision of the teacher. This gives the Physical Education teacher the opportunity to reach into the classroom. As a result, physical activity (and the expertise of the Physical Education teacher) is recognized as an important part of what happens in the classroom.

Variations:

Incorporate various indoor single person or partner exercises.

Older students might want to write fitness journals.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Give each teacher a description of The School Fitness Center. Explain to them what your trying to do. Collaborate with the teachers and train them on proper technique and give them your ideas on what are the fitness center rules. Then present the ideas to the students and discuss that you are working with their classroom teacher.

The fifteen minutes it takes to train the classroom teacher (at a faculty meeting) to properly supervise the activities is time well spent on building relationships with the school staff.

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Posted on PEC: 5/3/2007 and has received 147 votes.

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