Using Heart Rate Monitors and Reports, Students and Teachers Team Up to Maximize Understanding of Essential Exercise Skills
Teachers who utilize the IHT Zone wrist heart rate monitors and IHT Spirit System assessment software provide students with personalized PE data that allows them to successfully manage their fitness as they move from students to adults.
“We want them to be able to determine what their fitness level is years from now,” said Tracy Schellberg, PE teacher at Skyline (Issaquah, Wash.) High School.
By working together, Schellberg and her colleagues across the country, partner with students to help drive home essential skills such as:
- Calculating Recovery Heart Rate;
- Using technology as a motivator; and
- Learning from immediate feedback.
Recovery Heart Rate
Wearing their IHT Zone heart rate monitors, students run for 12 minutes. After the 12 minutes, they use the monitor’s marker function to note their stopping point, then use it again to mark the end of their two minute recovery period. The goal, the teacher says, is to get heart rates back down to 120 beats per minute by the end of the recovery period.
Resting and recovery heart rate serve as indicators of overall heart health. Generally, a lower resting heart rate indicates a higher fitness level. Schellberg said the majority of her students have increased their fitness levels enough to recover within the two minutes.
“Last semester, 80 percent of my students were able to drop their recovery heart rate to 120 beats per minute or less,” Schellberg said.
Assessment Software Provides Immediate Feedback with Personalized PE Data
Students see their recovery heart rate both on their wrists and on reports they receive via email immediately following each class session. Bringing the personalized PE data that’s been collected during the workout to students immediately helps speed up the development of skills teachers want to become intrinsic. That aspect separates the Spirit System from other heart rate monitors and assessment platforms.
“I see students all day who have their own monitor,” said Shane Stubbs, who’s taught PE in Australia for 25 years and began using IHT’s technology last year. “I say ‘hands up if you’ve ever looked at the dashboard on the app or on that website?’ Then I ask, ‘how many of you know what it means?’ None of them do.”
Students and teachers get their first glance at data immediately following the class session when students return their Zone monitors. Students and parents (if they so choose) then receive an email with specific workout details. Possessing the same personalized PE data, students, parents and teachers can have meaningful conversations about how the student’s journey to improved fitness is progressing.
“Teachers get to meet kids on a very personal and individual level and have a conversation with them about what’s going on ,” said Doug Hallberg, PE teacher at Draper (N.Y.) Middle School. “This is real data that I can talk to kids about, that I can talk to parents about.”
Monitors Provide Additional Motivation
During each PE class, students must spend a certain amount of time exercising in the target heart rate zone – the zones denote moderate and vigorous physical activity. The Zone monitors show students throughout class which heart rate zone they are exercising in by changing color – blue for resting, yellow for moderate, red for vigorous.
Chris Amundson’s students at the Crestview (Iowa) School of Inquiry have increased the time they’ve spent exercising in their target zones by 15 percent since they started using the Zone monitors. They understand the goals and the intensity at which they’ll need to exercise to meet those goals.
“I walked over to figure out what they were doing and they were all talking about how many minutes they needed to get to their goal for today; what they needed to do to push themselves,” he said after noticing students talking in a group after picking up their Zone monitors at the beginning of a class.
It’s more than simply using a piece of technology that’s motivating the students. They understand what a good workout means for each of them individually, Amundson said. He uses a particular student to make his point about the entire class.
“She’s going all out because she’s motivated and she can see how active she is and how her body is reacting to all of this exercise,” he said. “It becomes them learning that it’s great to push yourself to new limits.”