Fitness Friday!

April 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Physical Activity - After School, Physical Activity - Before School, Physical Activity - During School, Physical Activity - One Time Challenge Course | Leave a comment
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How Buckeye Valley East Elementary incorporates physical activity before school.

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Lisa Seely, Buckeye Valley’s PE teacher has come up with a fabulous idea… Fitness Friday!  It is held once a month on Friday mornings before school.  Lisa came up with an idea to set up 17 different physical activity stations in the gymnasium for the kids to enjoy before school.  The kids have such a blast and as it turned out so do some parents!  She has had regular attendance from 1 dad who is off work on Fridays.  He has attended every Fitness Friday and does all the stations with his son and his friends.  Other parents have also joined in on the fun with their kids.

Her stations include:

  1. Hula hoop
  2. Jump rope
  3. 1 pound weights
  4. Plank
  5. Jump over the pole
  6. Medicine ball twist
  7. Scooter around the cone
  8. Climbing wall
  9. Partner push up (high five partner)

10.  10 mountain climbers & crab walk around cone

11.  Bicep curl with resistance bands

12.  Leg squats

13.  Bicycle sit up

14.  Lunge the width, jog the length of the gym

15.  Jog the steps, walk down

16.  Bear crawl around cones

17.  Agility ladder drills

To implement the activity Lisa set up her iPod through a radio and about every minute she blows a whistle & the kids move to the next station. As a prize for the kids, they get a foot charm they put on their shoelaces!

These are just a few examples; you could set up any activity you think the kids would enjoy.

Buckeye Valley East Elementary received a Zone 8 mini-grant which helped purchase some of the equipment for the stations. Other ideas for implementing a Fitness Friday without a mini-grant include asking for a $1 donation per class, ask the PTO/PTA to help purchase equipment, or borrow PE equipment.


Walk or Bike to School Day – YEAR 2

November 16, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Posted in Physical Activity - After School, Physical Activity - Before School | Leave a comment

Our building wellness committee received a walk to school grant from Ohio Department of Transportation this fall, and with it we organized another all-school one day event, but more importantly, 10 walking school buses!

wtsRiver Landings River Movers

Walking School Bus - the "River Landings River Movers" THIS GROUP IS CONTINUING TO WALK!


"Bike Train"

Here’s an article that sums it all up: WTS press coverage 1109, or see a live video clip of our school town meeting here:

wts bus Wildcat Walkers

Walking School Bus, the "Wildcat Walkers"

Here’s the details:      With a $1,000 Walk to School grant from the ODOT SRTS, the wellness committee planned to recruit and train eight walking school bus leader-parents to walk a total of 40 children to school in September 2009.  After a request for interested parent leaders was sent home with all 510 students, parent leaders attended a two-hour educational session to hear about pedestrian safety and discuss relevant safety concerns with the city traffic engineer and a city police officer.   The initial goal was exceeded with a total of 10 walking school buses/bike trains formed, with a total of 75 students committing to walk as a group to school at least four times during the month of October. At least three of the walking school buses have plans to continue walking once a week through November.    A poster in the center hallway has been tracking their progress, along with photos of each walking school bus/bike train. An all-school assembly was held in November 5th to acknowledge the student walkers and parent leaders, and the group goal they will reach upon walking at least 4 times as a group during October:  $400 of grant money will be given to the library for new books.  T  o our astonishment, Olympic gold medal winner Butch Reynolds came to the assembly, offered his congratulations, and asked us to continue walking next spring.  He said he would come back  with a prize for everyone if we set a goal, and achieved it!

butch reynolds and walking buses

Olympic Athlete Butch Reynolds with walkers/bikers Butch Reynolds addressed the kids Walking Bus, the "Badboyz Batman"

Add Stencils to Playground for recess and classroom use!

September 17, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Posted in Physical Activity - After School, Physical Activity - Before School, Physical Activity - During School | Leave a comment

If you have seen a USA map painted on a playground surface, you have seen one small piece of an inexpensive option that can get students more active both during recess and during classroom time.  

Peaceful Playgrounds Stepping StonesI first became aware of these options when talking with my child’s elementary principal who said she had purchased the USA and World maps and was waiting for the district to resurface our playground before having it painted.  So finally, last summer it was finally our school’s turn for surface updating, and this summer we organized a group of parents to paint not only the USA map from URSA that was purchased long ago, but also “Peaceful Playgrounds” recess kit, that the principal more recently purchased.  Doing a quick check, I realized there are several companies out there that supply these stencils, all at a minimal cost, compared to that of standard playground equipment that PTO/PTA’s struggle to raise money to afford. 

Pam painting the number grids
Our artsy parent Pam painting the number grids


Balance Beam Snake - in Buckeye colors of course...

Balance Beam Snake - in Buckeye colors of course...

Here are some companies who supply instructions/stencils for active learning (If you know of others, please comment!)

So, because we actually used the Peaceful Playgrounds stencils,  I’m partial to Peaceful Playgrounds because of the wonderful activity books and training that accompanies the whole thing for the teachers.   It also comes with sample press releases, specific instructions and fabulous customer service to answer those last minute painting questions!    In addition, there is a whole structure of conflict resolution that goes along with the stencils to promote less arguing, less bullying and reduced injuries. Sure, you may be able to “wing it” and paint some of these yourselves, but don’t forget the most important piece is that each one of these has many many options for learning and integrating into the classroom.  I’ve known other schools who have a group of boy scouts come in and paint something and then leave – not giving the recess aides or  teachers any idea of how to integrate into learning!   I’m not sure what the other companies offer, but I can say nothing but kudos to Melissa Bossenmeyer for developing Peaceful Playgrounds!

We had a total of 23 parents and two staff come out and help -even on those warm August evenings when black pavement was the last place you would want to sit!

Stasi painting the multiuse circle

Stasi painting the multiuse circle

Students learn rules to be used during recess during p.e. class

 When school started, the kids were so excited to see the new stencils. The physical education teachers incorporated teaching the rules of the games into his regular playground safety session, which they  do every year withall the classes. Binders with the games rules and classroom integration ideas were placed in the staff lounge for teachers to see.   The wellness committee is organizing parents to help sew bean bags, which are needed for some of the games.  Next step – Guidance counselor integrates conflict resolution recess during her classroom  lessons, trains peer mediators.  Ideally we’d like to organize a teacher inservice to learn more about integrating into math, spelling, etc lessons!   We will see if there is a difference in the number of nurse’s visits during recess this year vs. last.

USA Map was fun to paint - kids could help with this one!

USA Map was fun to paint - kids could help with this one!

 Are you updating or wondering about the safety of a playground?    Great ideas on!


Playground Dedication - during PTO pancake breakfast - we encouraged parents to come out and play with their kids!


Posted by Mary Chace,   11/16/09

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