frisbee fitness

Fast-paced, frisbee fitness PE lesson elevates student heart rate

Childhood favorite finds new purpose in Spirit Challenge-winning activity

By adding a new twist to a backyard game, Portland (Mich.) High School physical education students push themselves to exercise in a healthy fitness zone by re-connecting them with what many high schoolers consider a childhood past-time: the frisbee.

Portland P.E. teacher Andy Pulling’s Fun Frisbee Fitness lesson keeps students moving, uses national standards, can be duplicated at any grade level and teaches the importance of teamwork along with fitness. Pulling’s lesson ranked as one of six winning submissions in last fall’s IHT Spirit Video Challenge powered by adidas, and his superstar lesson is the March adidas Lesson for IHT Spirit.

“It’s just a kids’ toy at the secondary level,” Pulling said. “But when we teach them how to play ultimate frisbee or do frisbee golf, it’s kind of like their youthful excitement comes back to life.” Read More

December’s adidas Lesson: Creating healthy students by developing passion for F.I.T.T.ness

Shelburne Community School physical education teachers Kelly Spreen and Craig MacDerment use their superstar lesson to help students find a passion for physical activity that will last a lifetime.

“Part of our goal is to expose students to as many different activities and fitness exercises with the hope that it will transfer outside of the classroom and promote lifelong fitness,” Spreen said.

Over the duration of their “Fun, F.I.T.T.ness and Forever Strong” circuit-based lesson, students go from station to station working together to complete different exercises. Students stay at each station until they accomplish the task at hand before moving on.

MacDerment said several goals help keep students motivated, the first being friendly competition. Read More


MA State PE Association Measures Student SEL Progress

Feb. 9 – With its Board of Education focusing on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) across the Commonwealth, Massachusetts physical education teachers now have a way to quantify how students master those essential skills.

Students enjoy a pleasant conversation during PE class at Indian Springs Elementary (Texas).

IHT and the Massachusetts Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) have integrated SEL protocols into IHT’s Spirit Assessment Measures software. Teachers at 79 participating schools can now assess how students master SEL skills and report the results of those assessments to state leaders, including MAHPERD Executive Director Maria Melchionda. Read More


P.E. plays key role in academic readiness

Dec. 26, 2016 – Data confirming the direct correlation between active, healthy students and academic achievement continues to mount, further demonstrating the growing importance that physical education plays in schools.

“Physical activity can have both immediate and long-term benefits on academic performance,” a report published by Active Living Research found in 2015. “Almost immediately after engaging in physical activity, children are better able to concentrate on classroom tasks, which can enhance learning.” Read More


PE assessment system to transform Bermuda’s fitness program

Oct. 14, 2016Bermuda

In 2014, Bermuda’s newly appointed Ministry Curriculum Officer for Physical Education & Health Arnold Manders faced a pair of daunting tasks.

The country’s academic director wanted Manders to make sure PE teachers were utilizing the FitnessGramⓇ software after a 2014 Royal Gazette article claimed that “seven in ten of Bermuda’s adults are overweight or obese.”

To meet his directive, Manders put together FitnessGram® training sessions for teachers and mandated that teachers:

Manders’ goal included using the software to demonstrate that three in five of Bermuda’s students would reach the healthy fitness zones by 2018.

Software challenges

Manders encountered difficulty getting things set up, particularly with the FitnessGram® software.

We were trying to upgrade our new system from [version] 9.3 to 15 and were struggling to get it done because of a change in FitnessGram®’s operation,” Manders said.

While searching for solutions to his FitnessGram® struggles, Manders discovered that IHT’s Spirit System software could measure the same fitness components the FitnessGram® software could. The discovery prompted a decision.

“We chose the Spirit System because it offers a lot more than just the fitness testing,” Manders said.

BermudaBermuda’s all-inclusive option

The Spirit System includes a number of key features, including:

  • class roster management
  • curriculum resources with lessons aligned to national standards
  • seamless recording of fitness test results, and
  • the ability to monitor and assess heart rate data from each individual class session.

With the Spirit System, Manders will have a more centralized curriculum and assess activities based on the U.S. PYFP. Manders helped develop a series of assessments called the Premier’s Youth Fitness Program. He then had teachers in Bermuda work with IHT’s Lois Mauch and Jen Reeves to see how the Spirit System managed the assessments.

“The Premier’s Youth Fitness Program is being launched as we speak,” Manders said. “The [Premier’s] YFP is a dual initiative between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. The program’s sole purposes is to increase the physical activity of all of our kids in Bermuda.”

Manders said the Spirit System’s record-keeping will allow him to implement a consistent, standards-based grading system across all of the island’s schools.

This process will make grades have a meaning, allow us to control the grading practices, help teachers to adjust instruction and it teaches what quality looks like,” Manders said.

Increasing time for PE

Manders’ plan centers around increasing the amount of time each week Bermuda’s students spend in physical education.

“Primary schools only have 120 minutes of P.E. a week, middle school 120 minutes a week and high school students 220 minutes a week but only for a semester,” he explained. “This falls well below the recommended 60 minutes a day [as recommended by the American Heart Association]. So it is hoped that by implementing the PYFP that our students will be encouraged to do more outside of school and record/track their minutes of physical activity in and outside of school.”

The country’s initial orders of new adidas ZONE for IHT Spirit wrist heart rate monitors will be on site soon, and Manders is eager for his teachers to get up to speed quickly so the students can see the full benefit.

We are just in the implementation phase with the IHT Spirit System as we still have to train new teachers on how to use it and every P.E. teacher how to use the system with the heart rate monitors,” he said. “It is hoped that we will be able to run the system in full in 2017-18 school year.”

Manders has big plans for his country’s physical education program, and IHT is thrilled to support the efforts that will shape an entire country.