With recess not always being a given in today’s educational world, specials classes being underfunded, and words like “rigor” and “testing” being thrown around like confetti, exercise and learning about health seems to be falling by the wayside.
Among other things teachers need to do every day, it now falls upon us to inform our students about exercise and healthy choices.
But how do we plan for something like this? And when do we fit it in our already jam-packed, busy schedules?
Healthy kids start with healthy choices… and healthy choices go hand in hand with a child’s academic performance.
That’s where fit4Schools comes in with simple, fun, and ready to use lessons and exercises… and it’s all FREE!
This is a sponsored blog post, but any and all opinions are my own.
First let me tell you the what and the why.
What is fit4Schools?
fit4Schools is a health activation program from Sanford Health, developed in collaboration with WebMD. fit4Schools strives to empower children and families to do the simple things each day that make healthy lifestyle choices a habit.
The resources and programs are aligned with national standards and are easy for both teachers and parents to use. The activities and exercises are fun for students… and they’re FREE. #everyonelovesfree
Why use fit4Schools?
The program is far from monotonous and boring. The weekly challenges boost and keep students engaged, energized, and interested in being healthy.
For teachers, the program plans it all out for you… so there’s no extra thinking or planning involved. The activities and exercises can easily be implemented into any classroom setting, even if you don’t have an extra 5 minutes a day.
So how do you use this and what is it going to look like in your classroom?
Well, I think it will look different in terms of “the when” it happens. Everyone’s schedule is different and we all come into our classrooms with different experiences and ideas about integration.
After creating a FREE account, you’re given full access to the lessons and exercises. All of the teaching materials and resources are organized into 4 key factors of healthy living: Mood (purple), Food (green), Move (red), and Recharge (blue).
Recharge – sleep and relaxation
Mood – feelings and attitude
Food – what and how much you eat
Move – exercise, play, and physical activity
fit builds the awareness that Recharge and Mood influence Food and Move choice, and that helps activate healthy lifestyle choices. (which makes total sense, because when I’ve had a rough day … all I want is carbs, and pizza is carbs)
You could easily use the exercises as part of your Morning Meeting, right after announcements, when they come back from lunch to get them on task, or at the end of the day before they go home. If you have a dramatic play area, you could post the 4 fit words
How am I going to use it in the self-contained, special needs setting?
In my classroom, we do Musical Brain Breaks when students come back from Specials in the morning. It helps us get the wiggles out and gets all of us on task for Language Arts.
I plan on using fit4Schools exercises in the afternoon after snack, to energize our bodies and minds to finish the rest of the school day strong. While students are eating snack, I will talk to them about why their snack is a healthy choice and integrate the lessons as more of mini-lessons.
The program is also going to fit perfectly into our Fun Food Friday activities, and we will be able to inform our peers about healthy choices too!
The Daily fitBoost is super easy to manipulate – you can put it on a timer or click through the exercises yourself (or put a student in charge of this!). You get a warm-up move, a Move move, and a cool down move.
When you click “Let’s Go!” it shuffles the exercises and takes only THREE MINUTES (if you keep the timer on, but you can certainly turn it off). Perfect for transitions!
There are a good number of different exercises, so students aren’t doing the same moves each day. And if you or your students don’t like an exercise for whatever reason, click “Go Again!” at any time to reshuffle the mix and get new exercises.
Each exercise shows a clip art guy doing the exercise and it tells your students how to perform the move. But your kids are so smart that they will probably know exactly what to do!
But above and beyond all of this planning and teaching, we need to be models first. As teachers and parents of little ones, we need to be that guiding person in the lives of our children to make and choose a healthy lifestyle.
If we are eating chips and candy for snack, why should we expect our students to make or want a different snack, like a banana or apple chips? It’s time we step up to the plate too! #dontworry #keepingthesecretcandystash #thatsforme
What will you do to help your students choose a healthy lifestyle? How will you use fit4Schools with your students?