Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jump Rope For Heart Performance Team

Last week our school, Raven Stream Elementary, had the privilege of hosting a jump rope performance team from Brooklyn Park. This team works in correlation with the American Heart Association and Jump Rope For Heart. The team consisted of 13 young 5th and 6th grade students and one teacher/coach. As impressed as I was at their jump roping ability, I was even more impressed at their respect, behavior and courage. We heard lots of pleases and thank yous and they seemed very honored to perform for us. Their courage to perform in front of almost 700 people was obvious. Nothing really seemed to faze them. But possibly my favorite experience was when they asked if they could join our first grade class before their performance. Of course, we would never deny someone the opportunity to move and get exercise. So we said yes and then we told our 1st graders that they were willing to help them to learn how to long rope. From that point on, these 5th and 6th graders seemed to turn into adult teachers in a matter of seconds. My colleague and I sat back and witness kids of different ages, from different schools, with different cultural backgrounds play, communicate and work together like they have known each other forever. I was so proud of my students and the performance team for just being fun loving, cooperative and innocent kids. It really was a great teaching and learning experience!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Let's Move! Active Schools

We are so happy to announce that we have joined the Let's Move! Active School program. Our school has created a team of 8 professionals to discuss and share ideas about how to improve our activity levels at school. My teaching partner and I got the motivation and information to start this program by attending the MNAHPERD state conference. Collaborating with other professionals, that share similar passion, is a great way to rejuvenate your teaching. I can't wait to see where Let's Move! Active Schools takes our school and our physical education program.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Amazing Parent Letter

This is a powerful letter from a parent of a victim of Sandy Hook Elementary. She took the time write this gracious letter to teachers everywhere. We all know what it takes to be a teacher. It takes courage, preparation, hard work, and a willingness to believe. We must believe in what we are teaching, we must believe in our school and most importantly we must believe in our students. Take the time to get to know your students, believe in them, and like the mother said "love them all". My sympathy goes out to this mother and all the other students, staff, and parents of the victims of Sandy Hook.
Click the link below to read the letter.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Same Story

Here another great story that explains the importance of activity in schools. We often think of only Physical Education, but this issue is something that needs to be addressed by the whole school community.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Exercise Right Before A Test?

One of my great colleagues (thanks Dana) shared this interesting article with me. It discusses the amazing effect exercising right before a test can have on test scores. The article is talks about specifically the ACT and SAT, but why would it matter what test it is. For example, it should also help students at the elementary level with MCA or NWEA tests as well. I wish our school would experiment with this topic. To check out the article click the link below.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"New Normal" Is Not Justification

Do you ever read something and want to talk specifically to the person quoted in the article or story? That would be me reading this story and many other stories that discuss cutting physical education. In this article titled "Worries mount over lack of physical education in schools", there is comment by a school district's spokesman that is frustrating and lacks justification. When discussing the physical education cuts in their district, a spokesman says "We would love to have the money to fund our PE specialists and the many other positions which have been lost over the past five years, but we are also faced with living in the new normal." Wait a minute, "new normal"?  What exactly does that mean? So would people losing their houses to foreclosure be a "new normal"? If that's the case, maybe I should cut out the rational spending from my family's plan of money management. Or maybe I should quit my job, because the "new normal" is to be unemployed. Childhood obesity is running rampant in our society and his justification of cutting a program that has an opportunity to make a difference is it's the "new normal". Things like "new normals" and past practices do not make things right. One of my biggest pet peeves in education is when someone responds with the old "because that's how we've always done it" comment. That must make it the right thing then (that's sarcasm). If I were in this district, I would be very disappointed with that ridiculous comment. If you are interested in the story, here's the link:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

West Virginia Physical Activity Plan

I just recently heard about West Virginia's Physical Activity Plan.  Their mission is to create a healthier state, reduce health care costs, promote economic development, and enhance their peoples' quality of life.  I didn't read the whole 44 page plan, but I did read the education section on pages 15-17.  I thought this was an amazing looking plan that addresses a wide range of valid ideas.  I specifically enjoyed the ideas of holding physical education teachers accountable, mandating daily physical education, marketing campaign, and getting family and community involvement.  Check out the plan and share your opinions.
West Virgina Physical Activity web page
PDF of Activity Plan