Discovering Physical Activity Outside PE Class
While school nurse Kristi Martinez was looking for ways to get Signal Knob Middle School in Shenandoah, Virginia healthy and moving she came across the Fire Up Your Feet Fall Challenge. They decided to combine it with the school’s Red Ribbon Week, with all students going out by grade and walking the track for a whole period.
For the challenge, teachers incorporated different physical activities into their lesson plans to get the kids up and moving in the classroom. The principal would announce at random for the whole school to perform an exercise, like jumping jacks or running in place, for a certain period of time. One teacher created a whole lab called "The Bouncy Ball Lab" that got students up and moving. According to the teacher, "We tested different things with the bouncy balls...which one bounced the best, which one rolled the best, and if height affects the bounce. They were running, jumping, bouncing, and having fun with the lab". There is also a teacher who has been offering REFIT exercise classes once a week to staff to encourage physical activity and promote the challenge.
Fire Up Your Feet has helped instill the message that physical activity doesn’t just have to be in PE, but can be integrated into the classroom and in extra-curricular activities too. Throughout the challenge, the students enjoyed fitness, focus and performance in the classroom to get energy out so they could stay more focused on their studies. Teachers are hiking and doing yoga outside of school, and kids are participating in other sports and walking around town. A passion for physical activity has been ignited and it isn’t ending with the challenge. The whole school community did an excellent job staying active, and Signal Knob is already looking forward to May and the next challenge.