Monday, February 22, 2016

Energetic Body, Energetic Mind

When we came back from winter break in January, Coach sent out an email letting us all know about a state-wide contest being held to increase student physical activity.  

The contest was sponsored by Walk Georgia and Georgia Shape.  

From Walk Georgia: "Walk Georgia is a free Web-based fitness program designed to encourage activity and exercise through accountability and community! The Walk Georgia program provides free fitness tracking, research-based knowledge, and resources on fitness. The website enables users to track their activities and record fitness progress; users can see how they stack up against other individuals in their county, the state, and can even create custom group challenges! The website also provides resources on health and the tools and information to get physically active in each Georgia county. Users can choose to participate individually, or within a group to foster accountability or competition! Get started by registering here."

From Georgia Shape: "Georgia Shape is the Governor’s statewide, multi-agency and multi-dimensional initiative that brings together governmental, philanthropic, academic and business communities to address childhood (0-18) obesity in Georgia. Over the next ten years Georgia Shape will work towards increasing the number of students in the Healthy Fitness Zone for Body Mass Index by ten percent. Other objectives set forth by the Governor and Georgia Shape include reaching disparate populations, increasing the aerobic capacity measure of Georgia’s youth, increasing the breast feeding rate across Georgia, and increasing the number of early care centers that excel in nutrition and physical activity measures."

The goal was simple: get your students moving more, and track their movement!
(P.E. time did not count.)  

As someone who recognizes the importance of fitness and all its benefits, I already had my students doing a lot of activity:
-we take lots of BrainBreaks between subjects with GoNoodle (We <3 Koo Koo Kanga Roo)
-we dance or exercise while learning with Dr. Jean (Macarena to 100, Pump Up to 100)
-we get up and act out stories as much as possible
-we regularly switch between sitting/standing as we work
-students run before play time at recess, and I walk laps as they play (I enjoy the conversations with children that stem from their asking "Why do you always walk laps?")
-I take the students for a trip outside as often as possible for science (remember our nature walk?)

But as a competitive person, once I saw that there was a challenge, I knew we had to step up our game.  So in addition to all that we already did, we began doing morning cardio sessions instead of morning journals.

Yep, your children have been coming into school each morning and knocking out 40 minutes of cardio, strength, and stretching until the bell rings and announcements start.

The results have been incredible. Students who come in sluggish and tired wake up once the blood starts flowing! The students who come in eager to talk and bounce around get to let all their energy out! And the students who used to take forever to eat their breakfast before coming into the classroom now rush in to get started.

When it's time for the writing block to begin, I get more focused, productive workers.

The students all know that fitness is important to me. They know I teach part-time at the gym. But now we're into it together.  They challenge me to races at recess.  They taught me how to Whip and Nae Nae. I taught them proper push-up form.  They lead their own PT during dismissal (since Mr. David came and led PT for us at recess to celebrate our big win). We do cartwheels together on the playground. (Wait, that was just one time.)  

I mean, what else can you expect from "the most active class in Georgia" ?? (By the way, yes, I know that the question mark is meant to be inside the quotation marks. I just didn't like the way it made it seem like I was questioning whether or not we're the most active class.) We are! Look!

So, on Saturday, David and I went to the Hawks game. (Our first time ever at an NBA game!) We had a ton of fun! I was recognized for our achievement and we got the chance to go on the court and rebound balls to the players as part of the Walk Georgia 'in crowd.' ;)

The kids received their prize bags in the mail today from Georgia Shape. They still have more prizes to come from Walk Georgia!  It was neat for them to see how all their hard work paid off.

We are SO GRATEFUL to Walk Georgia and Georgia Shape for this amazing opportunity! Thank you!!

And, as the new Mossa Group Fitness campaign says:

Teachers, Parents, Friends... now's your time to move! Join me at Edge on Saturday mornings at 10:30am or Thursday mornings at 5:00am for Group Power or Wednesday evenings at 6:35pm for Zumba! Then log your activity on Walk Georgia!

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