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

PE heart rate monitors motivate

Top 3 Ways PE Heart Rate Monitors Motivate Students

Teachers Share Success Stories as Students Develop Skills, Desire to Improve Physical Fitness

Students felt more motivated to achieve daily workout goals when wearing heart rate monitors in their physical education classes this year.

When asked how students had adjusted to wearing the IHT Zone wrist heart rate monitor during class, PE teachers shared success story after story about how students more frequently met their workout goals. Read More

fitness centers

Fitness centers allow Carlisle High School students to pursue individual goals

Originally published March 12, 2018 in the Sentinel.

By Joseph Cress

As of mid-January, physical education class has changed for Carlisle High School students.

Half the time they spend in each physical education course will now involve the pursuit of an individualized fitness plan for self-improvement.

The change was made possible by the recent development of separate fitness centers in the Swartz and McGowan buildings that now give every student access to cardio and weight training equipment.

The Swartz Fitness Center was the result of an expansion of that building’s weight room that more than doubled its floor space. That work was coordinated with a project to remodel the much smaller McGowan weight room into a fitness center. Both became operational in January.

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training

Training report gives PE 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