Students Describing What Being Fit & Healthy Means to Them
Who is responsible for level of fitness?
This is a key question that I posed to my students at the beginning of the unit. Using adults as an example, we discussed the fact that adults make their own health related choices. Nobody forces an adult to live a healthy lifestyle. Level of fitness is a very personal choice. As PE teachers we can stress the importance of being fit and being active, but can we force our students to take action in regards to the important messages we impart on them related to fitness? We can HOPE that they will listen and that we inspire them to value fitness. However, the reality is that it is a very personal choice whether we are an adult or a young person. This is very much the angle that I am taking the rest of my grade 5 fitness unit. The message boils down to what is written below.
Your level of fitness is a very personal choice. You own the decisions that you make. Your level of engagement and effort is completely your choice.
However, the big change is that the students will set their own goals, but be allowed to pursue these goals in any way they want. For example, I will allow the use of basketballs, soccer balls, badminton equipment, skipping ropes etc. They will design their own fitness plans and work toward the goals that they set for themselves. I will have actual fitness circuits set up that they can follow if they want or need a more structured and organized approach. They must choose areas that they want to improve upon such as cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, flexibility etc.
If I allow them these broad parameters, then it becomes easier for me to see how engaged they are in this unit. I will not force them to do anything but I will certainly be observing their actions in PE. I will also be sending a letter home to parents to also observe for any noticeable changes in regards to the level of physical fitness activities done on weekends and after school. I plan on taking walks during recess time to also observe whether or not they are more active than normal. I am looking to see whether or not students are taking action in regards to their level of fitness.