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Teacher: Betty McNeil who teaches at John Paul II Elementary in Mitchell, SD. Betty McNeil can be contacted at Betty.mcneil@k12.sd.us.

Name of Best Practice: Walk With Me

Rationale/Purpose of Event: Aerobic activity. A choice for noon recess once a week. Socializing. Clean up around school yard. We make a connection to the global "green" movement i.e. recycling, reducing litter,etc.

Suggested Grade Level: K-2, 3-5

Materials Needed: Garbage bags.

Walk With Me

Once a week each group of lunchroom students have the option to walk with me (Mrs. McNeil, the PE teacher). There are 3 sections of lunch with a 20 minutes outdoor recess after eating. K-1 walk 1/2 mile on Monday; 2-3 walk 1 mile on Thursday; Grades 4-5-6 have the option to walk 1 mile on Wednesday.

We have a shelter belt along the perimeter of the school and we walk through that and pick up any garbage or sticks along the way. Every 5 miles a student will get a toe token, plus other awards at certain intervals. We have been doing this since the 2004-2005 school year. It has been very successful. Other teachers have volunteered to walk with the students.

I give out awards at the end of the year for perfect walking attendance and certain distances covered. The students have picked up untold amounts of garbage. And one student found a $10 bill and another time $1. We sing songs and they romp in the snow in the winter. The students SAFETY is enured as supervision is constant. This provides a good option for students who feel left out on the playground. They do a lot of talking and connecting with each other.

Variations:

Our path is not always the same. I have a measuring "wheel" that we take along on a new path. The kids have fun pushing that. We also have used pedometers.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Keep rosters of students on 3 separate clipboards. Write the date and distance when we come in from our walk. I circle the 5 or 10 tally marks with a different colored marker so I can easily see how many miles a student has walked.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

We have no students that cannot walk, but someone in a wheelchair could certainly participate. The distance could be changed. The goals could be adjusted.

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Posted on PEC: 10/24/2009 and has received 46 votes.

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