Portage

Personalized PE Motivates Students with Positive, Successful Experiences

By personalizing outcomes for each student, PE teachers have helped more students find positive experiences and the motivation to keep working to improve their overall fitness.

“You talk about differentiation in education,” said Portage Central Middle School PE teacher John Dunlop. “I have a boy who, in my 26 years of teaching and coaching, is as athletic a kid as I’ve ever come across. Then there’s another boy who’s about a foot-and-a-half shorter than him, doesn’t really enjoy PE, and they’re in the same class doing the same things. How do you meet the needs of both of these kids when you have them at the same time?” Read More

Using PE Heart Rate Data to Create a More Student-Friendly Curriculum

Data from the IHT ZONE wrist heart rate monitors his students wear during their PE classes will help Hudson High School (Iowa) teacher Sean Leonard improve his curriculum for the coming school year.

Leonard modified his High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)-based program to observe how students’ effort level changed as measured by the ZONE’s heart rate reports generated after each session. With the data in hand, Leonard will spend part of his summer rethinking his approach to next year. Read More

Heart Rate Data Empowers Teacher to Personalize PE Program so Students Maximize Motivation and Opportunities for Success

Using data collected from the IHT ZONE wrist heart rate monitors his students wear during class, Hudson High School PE (Iowa) teacher Sean Leonard will give students the freedom to personalize his curriculum during the next school year. Rather than participate in Leonard’s preselected daily activity during class, they’ll have the freedom to choose the activity that drives each of them to achieve their daily goals of time spent exercising at an elevated heart rate.

Lessons from an ‘Eye-Opening Experience’

  • Collect heart rate data regularly: Be consistent with the use of heart rate monitors. As students see the technology as part of their routine, the data will be a true reflection of the effort they give.

  • Offer a variety of activities to motivate students of all fitness levels: Heart rate data enables teachers to see exactly how each student performs in relation to their goal. Students will respond differently to each activity. Help students find activities that drive them to meet their daily goal.

  • Challenge students to do their best: The ZONE shows student and teacher in real time how hard the student is working. Each student has their own best,  regardless of how fast they run or how high they jump. Reinforce to the class that each student’s best effort is different.


Leonard introduced his students to the IHT ZONE monitors in January to collect daily heart rate session data. The data he’s collected has prompted him to rethink the way he approaches his PE curriculum. From what he has learned so far, he plans to test personalizing his class by letting students choose the fitness activities that motivate them the most. Read More

Sioux Falls looks to modernize gym class with more technology, personal fitness focus

Originally published March 1, 2019 in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

By Shelly Conlon

The Sioux Falls School District is about to make sure gym class no longer has the reputation of a blow-off class for students by giving them more choices, school officials said this week.

The district will be spending more than $337,000 on course work and equipment to shift away from team sports and toward a personal fitness focus at all grade levels, said Ann Smith, the district’s curriculum director. Read More

reflection

Students Reinforce Essential Fitness Skills Through PE Reflection

Flipped Classroom Strategy Paired With Post-Workout Reflection Increases Student Mastery of Successful Exercise Habits

Two years ago, Oskaloosa (Iowa) Middle School PE teacher Betsy Luck flipped the script on her seventh and eighth-grade students. Luck challenged them to take the lead in developing exercise programs that enabled them to meet daily goals for time spent exercising at an elevated heart rate.

Instead of lecturing students on the benefits of an upcoming PE unit, she had students research and master the lesson for homework. While she stood ready to answer questions the next day, she wanted students to demonstrate the type of worked they’d utilize to meet the goal for minutes of exercise in the target heart rate zone. Read More