Physical Education Advocacy Video for School Decision-Makers

If you’re looking for an effective presentation to help you convince parents, school administrators and school board decision-makers about the need for physical education, check out this video.

This short  4 1/2 minute YouTube video was produced by SPARK, a “research-based, public health organization dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness.” It’s presented by Dr. Thom McKenzie, of San Diego State University, and uses whiteboard animation to keep the viewer’s interest while communicating vital facts about the need for PE in our schools. These facts, as per SPARK’s mandate, are based on research, not supposition.

If you’re in a situation where advocacy on behalf of physical education is necessary, you could email a link to this video as a way of sending a message to parents and decision-makers. The video itself is below, but here’s the link: http://youtu.be/rrLne6YVaBQ?hd=1

And here’s the video.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

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[tags]physical education curriculum,physical education advocacy, the need for PE, the need for physical education,,pe,phys-ed, SPARK video>[/tags]

Focus on Individual Activities Increases Physical Education Participation

Individual Activities for Physical Education

In Ontario, Canada, students are required to take physical education only in their first year of high school. That leaves three years in which secondary school students need not participate in PE. In most schools that results in a dramatic decline in PE participation.

A teacher at Essex District High School near Windsor Ontario, has found a way to increase PE participation past grade 9 by 20%. He’s changed the focus of his curriculum from team sports to individual sports.

PE head, Joe Amicarelli, a physical educator for 15 years, now offers a new physical education stream that includes fitness activities such as bowling, golf, squash, yoga, and pilates. It also includes a weight training class in which students can work out 70 minutes a day during the week.

He has seen his post Grade 9 physical education participation rate rise from 40% to 60% of eligible students.

Amicarelli decided to make this change after interviewing grade 8 students about their physical education preferences – a practice he now continues every year. He found that some boys continue to love team sports, but that most students, particularly girls, prefer individual activities. And it is those individual activities that they will participate in after school and after graduation.

Said Amicarelli,  “We’re getting all shapes and sizes taking phys ed for four years and that’s awesome. Five or six years ago, these kids weren’t doing this.”

Reference: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/story/2012/06/05/wdr-phys-ed-essex-high-yoga-pilates.html

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
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[tags]physical education curriculum,physical education and individual sports,pe,phys-ed>[/tags]

In Praise of Rubber Chickens

Booth at a Physical Education ConventionI had several reasons for starting this website (initially, a newsletter) back in the mid-eighties. One was that I love researching sports and fitness topics… another was that I felt comfortable with the clientele. Heck, I even went so far as to marry a physical education teacher.

Several years ago, I was an exhibitor at an AAHPERD convention. That experience re-confirmed the feeling that physical educators and coaches are my kind of people. In fact, I don’t know of any group that is more outgoing, pleasant and generally…fun!

At the convention, it took only one step inside the exhibitor’s hall for me to know I was in the right place. Gosh, it was the biggest playground I’d ever seen— the mother of all funhouses!

Inflatable javelins, beachballs and tail-feathered footballs filled the air. Booths offered juggle-sticks, recumbent stair steppers and footballs with jet-engine design. Exhibitors walked the floor, demonstrating bungee-balls and dressed in Lycra body-bags with big-ball butts. Special demonstrations explained the intricacies of Pickle Ball and revealed “50 things you can do with a bucket.”

Footsore delegates staggered from booth to booth, hauling shopping bags filled with free stuff: giant drink containers, pins, yo-yo’s and a front-end loader’s worth of brochures, booklets and business cards.

On the first day of the convention, one of these harried delegates approached my booth. He was a giant of a man with a physique like Herman Munster’s bigger, nastier brother. And from the expression on his face, he was a very unhappy camper.

I could hear tiny ripping noises as he glared at me and stomped towards my booth…and realized they came from the tortured seams in his XXX-L golf shirt. I started a desperate search through my mental computer… Was this a fellow I’d cut off on the highway on the drive from the airport? Did he know that I think professional wrestling is fake? Had I sent him one too many renewal notices?

Whatever he wasn’t happy about, I could envision my head being cracked like a walnut between his forearm and bicep. But then, just when his hands were within reach of my throat and I was desperately reviewing every move I’d seen in the latest Jackie Chan movie, something unexpected happened. He smiled. He shook my hand and asked, “Hi! Howyra doin’?”

It was like Hurricane Hugo had given way to a gentle, sunny day in June. It was like finding out that Mike Tyson actually has an Oxford accent and collects china figurines.

A former subscriber who had let things lapse, this gentleman seemed sincerely interested in what we were doing. But then, I suspect he’s sincerely interested in whomever he’s speaking with. After a few minutes of chit-chat he left the booth and I thought to myself, “That’s one nice person.”

It was a thought I would repeat, about many people, over the five days of the convention. But then, it seems to be almost a job requirement in the profession. Physical educators are fun people, nice people. Because there’s no better way to get through to kids than to make things fun—and to have fun yourself.

These are the types of people who are drawn to the profession and who will have a profound effect on today’s youth: in inspiring a love for fitness, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle; in teaching sport and the many qualities that competitive activity can develop.

As for the convention, I’ll probably attend another. After all, where else could I hear the phrase (and this is quoted verbatim), “Thanks for the information. Now I have to buy some rubber chickens.”

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
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[tags]physical education teachers,physical educators,rubber chickens,pe convention>[/tags]

Don’t Be That Awkward Runner

Physical education - Awkward Runner VideoAs a running coach, I see all sorts of technical errors in my runners. Especially from those who have patterned themselves after television or running magazines and THINK they are emulating those models.

In fact, what an athlete thinks they are doing often doesn’t match reality.

In this video, called “Don’t Be That Awkward Runner,” you’ll see some over-exaggerated, humorous examples. But the funny thing is, while exaggerated, I’ve encountered variations of every one of these awkward runners. For example, I’ve seen runners with unstable core, floppy arms, no arms, foot contact ahead of the center of mass, no arm action, heel contact first, over-wide stance, straight arms, over-exaggerated arm lift. All are exhibited in this video.

The video has labels for some of these running styles that may someday become part of the running coach’s lexicon: “the Geezer,” “the Dandy,” “the T-1000,” “the Flightless Bird,” “the Stiffy.”

Enjoy the video and whatever you do, don’t be a “Flightless Bird.”

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]running videos,funny running videos,running technique videos>[/tags]

Healthy Eating Plate Is a Better Version of MyPlate and the Food Pyramid

The MyPlate Graphic
The Older "MyPlate" Graphic

Back in June 2011, The U.S. government unveiled the “MyPlate” diagram, intended to give Americans a visual reminder for the proportions of the different components needed for healthy eating. It was an upgrade from the previous MyPyramid diagram that wasn’t particularly successful. The MyPlate diagram was a representation of what people will actually see when they sit down for a meal.

Unfortunately, the “MyPlate” icon was just a diagram and doesn’t provide much written information. So, a group of colleagues at the Harvard Health Publications and the Harvard School of Public Health got together to create an improved version. They call it the “Healthy Eating Plate.”

The Healthy Eating Plate
The "Healthy Eating Plate" Diagram

As with the “MyPlate” graphic, the “Healthy Eating Plate” provides a graphic version of a dinner plate, and shows the relative proportions of the different components of a healthy meal. However, it goes one step further and adds practical information relevant to each of those components. For example, beside the “Fruits” portion, it adds the note: “Eat plenty of fruits of all colors.”

You can download a free printable version of the “Healthy Eating Plate” at the Harvard Health Blog at:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/harvard-to-usda-check-out-the-healthy-eating-plate-201109143344

If you’re looking for a good printable diagram for the nutrition component of your health classes, this is a great resource.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]Healthy Eating Plate,MyPlate,nutrition,diet,nutrition aids,nutrition graphics>[/tags]

Ellen’s Dance Dare Shows the Value of Chasing Your Dreams

Ellen's Dance Dare

This topic might seem like a bit of a stretch for a physical education blog, but, well…it does involve a varsity runner, dancing and goal-setting. It’s inspirational. And besides, it’s hilarious.

One of my university runners, Jenna Thornber, has, for over a year, had the goal of winning an invitation to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Ellen includes dancing in many of her segments, and Jenna thought she’d attract Ellen’s attention by posting YouTube videos of herself dancing in strange situations. So, she posted videos in which she danced in a downtown shopping mall, in the middle of the busiest intersection in Toronto, in a university lecture hall (during a lecture), and more.

I think many people thought it was just a joke and didn’t take Jenna seriously. After all, a girl from a small town in Ontario appearing on the Ellen Show? Impossible.

But, in January 2012, Ellen announced an official dance video contest to win an appearance on her show. The contest, called Ellen’s Dance Dare, involved videos in which the contestants must dance behind unsuspecting people. For Jenna, it was a situation where preparation meets motivation meets opportunity.

So, having several video productions under her belt, Jenna went to work and created a dancing video masterpiece. A student at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Jenna had the perfect venue for ambush-dancing. Her video showed her dancing behind a professor during a lecture, behind an unsuspecting student at a urinal, popping from a laundromat dryer, squirm-dancing beneath a bench-presser, and much more!

And guess what. – on Thursday February 2nd, two clips from Jenna’s video appeared on the Ellen Show. One clip showed her peaking around the corner of a public bathroom then dancing behind a student at a urinal – it received the biggest laughs of all the contestant clips that were featured. The other clip showed her dancing behind a diver on a high tower.

She shared the episode with First Lady, Michelle Obama, who I assume watched the Jenna’s video along with Ellen and millions of viewers.

Getting noticed by Ellen is the first step. The final step is to win the contest and a flight to California to meet Ellen on-air. Having seen a number of the other contestant videos, Jenna’s blows them out of the water!

Here’s the video – just don’t watch it at work – every time I see it , I end up laughing out loud.

And here’s the video of the Ellen segment with Jenna’s clips in it. Go to 5:40 to see the start of the segment.

The moral of the story? Chase your dreams!!

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]physical education,Ellen's Dance Dare, Jenna Thornber,Jenna Thornber's Video,Ellen DeGeneres Show>[/tags]