Physical Education News
Students exercise brains, bodies
Richmond Register News Writer
with comments by Kathy Todd highlighted
BEREA — “Are you ready to exercise your brains?”
That is how physical education teacher Kathy Todd started a first-grade classFriday in the Action-Based Learning Lab at Shannon Johnson Elementary.
The students responded with an enthusiastic chorus of “Yes,” and then took their places at one of seven stations in what is a very non-traditional physical education classroom.
At one station, the students walked on the rails of a ladder that lay on the floor. As they passed each ladder rung, they read the world placed on the floor between rungs.
As they looped back to restart the path along the ladder, the students stepped on numbered, collapsible hemispheres, whispering the numbers as they stepped.
At another station, they walked along a Figure 8 as they read words from a small flip chart.
Then they traced geometric shapes on the wall, reciting the shapes’ names, followed by walking around the outlines of other patterns on the floor.
At one station, the students sat still, rolling a softball back and forth along a straight line. They kept their heads still, but followed the ball with their eyes.
“In addition to developing hand-eye coordination, this exercise simulates the motion of students eyes as they read,” Todd said.
“Keep your eyes on the ball,” Todd told a student as she walked by.
In the room’s center, students bounced up and down as they rode large inflated balls within a giant square.
Action-Based Learning is a trademarked program developed by education researcher Jean Blaydes of Texas.
As the program keeps children physically active, its prepares the brain for input, Todd said.
As the children crawl, roll, spin, walk, jump, juggle and bounce through the stations, they develop balance, coordination, spatial awareness, directionality and visual literacy, she said.
In addition to physical activity, the challenge and feedback the students encounter in Action-Based Learning stimulate optimal brain function, according to Blaydes’ research.
Spatial awareness and motor skill practice lay the framework for reading, she states on her Web site. In addition to developing focus, the exercises have been shown to bring a lethargic or hyperactive child back into balance.
Todd said she had been aware of Blaydes’ research for years, having heard her lecture at professional KAHPERD conferences.
After Todd and members of the district’s Coordinated School Health Committee, including Superintendent Tommy Floyd, attended an Indianapolis presentation by Blaydes this past fall, (we attended the PE 4 Life Academy in Indianapolis and saw an Action Based Learning Lab in full swing.) two pilot programs were authorized.
Action-Based Learning will be introduced in a pilot program at the new Caudill Middle School this fall.
The district has applied for a grant to fund Action-Based Learning, as well as fitness labs, in all of its schools, Todd said.The district has applied for a PEP Grant to fund the Wellness Initiative “IntoFitness 4 Life” in Madison County. It would put Action Based Learning Labs in all Elementary Schools, Fitness Labs in Elementary, Middle and High Schools and the research based SPARK Physical Education Curriculum District wide.
“These programs, along with enhanced nutritional and health education, are part of our district’s coordinated school health initiative,” she said.
The Madison County Health Department, Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital-Berea have representatives on the Coordinated School Health Committee, and have been supportive of the grant application and all of the district’s health and physical education efforts, Todd said. The White House Clinic, Berea College, Eastern Kentucky University, Berea and Richmond Chamber of Commerce have also been very supportive.
“Not only are we helping to improve the health of our students, I believe the Madison County School District is poised to be a model for student health and physical education in Kentucky,” she said.
Bill Robinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Todd can be reached email@example.com
National Recess Week March 2-6
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the Cartoon Network invite you to help us set the Guinness World Record® for the Largest Simultaneous Four Square Game ever on Tuesday, March 3! Your students will join thousands of others around the country in a huge game of Four Square to help spread the word about the benefits of recess, both mentally and physically. In addition, the Cartoon Network is giving 10 participating schools across the nation a $10,000 grant! Your school could be one of them
The events will take place on March 3rd at schools in Miami, New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles and hopefully at your school. Each event will start at noon EST (11 a.m. CST, 10 a.m. MST and 9 a.m. PST) and last at least 15 minutes. You need to plan for your students to be out of class for around 30-45 minutes for the entire event. The following bullet points explain the details of the event.
Four Square game will take place on school’s playground or inside gym
Minimum of 25 participants (five Four Square games with five students each)
- Each game needs to be played on a 10’x 10’ court divided into four smaller squares that meet in the center and numbered one through four
The Guinness World Record® requires documentation from the event to prove we have set the World Record. We would need you to complete the following:
- Cover letter on your school’s letterhead describing the record and the evidence you are submitting (Duration, number of persons participating, a photo)
- Completed school contact information form (we will provide the form)
- Student Media Release Forms (we will provide the form)
- Sign-In Sheets for participants (we will provide the form)
- Two independent witness statements OR one independent witness statement notarized by an independent public notary
If you like we will pitch the media in your area to attend the event and to take photographs and video footage for story placement.
Drug dealers are now provid ing dangerous drugs to very young children, using names like "cheese" and "strawberry quick." This is a dangerous new trend, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reports.
"Cheese" is a combination of black tar heroin and crushed up Tylenol PM tablets and hits of it sell for $1 or $2. Like any type of heroin, "cheese" is highly addic tive and deadly.
"They're looking for a new consumer," says James Capra, the special agent in charge of the DEA office in Dallas, Texas. "They've taken the tactic that ad vertising people have taken for years; you want to sell a product, you've got do a good marketing approach to it."
There is also a type of crystal meth (speed) going around that looks like strawberry pop rocks (the candy that sizzles and "pops" in your mouth). It also smells like strawberry and it is being handed out to kids in schoolyards. The dealers are calling it "strawberry meth" or "strawberry quick."
Thinking that it is candy, kids are ingesting strawberry meth and then being rushed off to the hospital in dire condition. It also comes in chocolate, peanut butter, cola, cherry, grape and orange.
I invite readers to call me at (609) 396-5874 if they want more information.
-- CHIP MEARA, Trenton The writer is community educator for the Mercer Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, which has been providing alcohol and drug education, assessment and referral services for more than 25 years.
Actively pursuing fitness
UK TEAMS WITH PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO PROMOTE HEALTH; TEACHERS WILL BE ROLE MODELS
by: Jim Warren w/photos by Charles Bertram from the Lexington Herald-Leader