Maury River MS adds IHT Spirit System to individualize PE for students

June 2, 2017 – Maury River Middle School (Lexington, Va.) aims to change the way Virginia schools engage students through physical education.

Beginning this summer and into the new school year, Maury River students will be the first in Virginia to utilize technology that puts them directly in touch with their heart rate data. The school has purchased several sets of adidas ZONE for IHT Spirit wrist heart rate monitors along with IHT’s Assessment Measures software to be used during a summer program and then during PE classes when the year begins.

MauryWith childhood obesity becoming a major epidemic in our country, we saw the need to adapt our curriculum to what our children need most…individualized instruction that meets every student at their own fitness level,” said Maury River Middle School PE Teacher Vicki Black. “IHT adidas Zone heart rate monitors will allow us to connect our PE classrooms and students with the modern world of fitness technology.” Read More


After two years, West Des Moines schools switch to IHT Spirit technology

“This is what we need to do to help students be healthy and fit for life. If we don’t provide the necessary tools, we are doing the students a disservice.”

Aug. 3, 2017 – Two years ago, Brian Rhoads implemented a pilot program to study heart rate in his physical education classes at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School (West Des Moines, Iowa). The program continues this school year district-wide in all 13 of West Des Moines’ campuses but with IHT Spirit System equipment.

“We piloted a program using [a heart rate technology company’s] chest strap monitors in our 9th grade building,” Rhoads said. “The next year we tried out [the same company’s] wrist monitors, but they weren’t multi-user friendly in a school of 700 students.”

To meet the needs of their innovative program, Rhoads used research and analysis to convince West Des Moines’ leadership to switch to the IHT Spirit System, complete with assessment software, to be used throughout the district. As the new K-12 PE Curriculum Leader for the district, Rhoads saw a better fit for the district’s needs: the adidas ZONE for IHT Spirit wrist heart rate monitors and the IHT Spirit Assessment Measures software. He estimates that 7,500 students will use the heart rate monitors this year.

Brian Rhoads

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Training report gives P.E. students immediate, vital feedback

Teachers can reinforce the health benefits of a full class period’s worth of heart rate training by providing students with a detailed workout summary before they leave for their next class.

Utilizing IHT’s Spirit System, students wear heart rate monitors and try to keep their heart rate in the target heart rate zone for the bulk of class. Teachers gauge student progress on their ability to spend as many minutes as possible exercising in the target zone. The target heart rate zone is 60-80 percent of a student’s maximum heart rate (MHR).

If each class workout serves as a test, students don’t have to wait to see their scores. Immediately following each class session, students – along with teachers and parents – receive an email recapping their performance in class, including how many minutes students spent exercising in the target zone and a graph showing the student’s heart rate throughout.

“You can do all those things and get all of that data from the automatic email you receive after your session,” said Australian physical educator Shane Stubbs, who’s integrated the Spirit System into his programs. Read More

flipped classroom

Flipped classroom approach gives P.E. students a leading role

Physical education students increase their ability to create heart-healthy workouts utilizing strategies more commonly seen in academic subjects.

In recent years, teachers have implemented practices that give students more control over how they learn essential subject matter. Teachers have found students more engaged and prepared for class when they employ the flipped classroom technique to present material.

In traditional academic classes, teachers typically present new material through a lecture or hands-on lesson and then assign homework to reinforce the lesson after school. The flipped classroom model reverses the way material is presented. What the teacher would normally present in class is assigned for students to study and learn at home, and class-time becomes a forum where students can practice those skills and get help from the teacher as needed.

For physical education, teachers have students plan an engaging workout at home and then execute it during the next class session. Homework helps students understand how to create a quality workout. The teacher then transitions from leader to observer to gauge the success with which students understood the assignment and help implement any corrections or reinforce understanding as needed. Read More


Delivering Quality P.E. Improves Student Physical, Academic Fitness

Schools that provide quality physical education are seeing the benefits well beyond student fitness levels.

The IDEA Public School network saw five of its Texas-based high schools earn rankings among the country’s most challenging high schools. Teachers in Nevada and Iowa are working to prove the direct correlation between improved physical fitness and academic performance.

In many cases, students wear heart rate monitors such as the adidas Zone for IHT Spirit wrist heart rate monitor while they exercise during their physical education classes. Teachers then analyze the data through IHT’s Assessment Measures software, where they gauge each student’s individual performance based on that day’s goal for time spent exercising at an elevated heart rate.

At IDEA Public Schools, five high school campuses that put a priority on helping students achieve Center for Disease Control-recommended minimums of physical activity per week were honored for academic achievement by the Washington Post. Read More