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ACTIVE SCHOOL PLAYGROUNDS. ACTIVITY & ACHIEVEMENT A recent study of 33 Ontario schools involved in a healthy living initiative (students exercise every.

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Presentation on theme: "ACTIVE SCHOOL PLAYGROUNDS. ACTIVITY & ACHIEVEMENT A recent study of 33 Ontario schools involved in a healthy living initiative (students exercise every."— Presentation transcript:


2 ACTIVITY & ACHIEVEMENT A recent study of 33 Ontario schools involved in a healthy living initiative (students exercise every day, play extra sports, and are discouraged from eating junk food) saw overall scores climb by 18 % over two years in reading, writing, and math. This compares to a growth of 4 % for similar schools not in the health program. Principals also said there were fewer fights and better attendance. “Children don’t become brighter because they’re physically active, but they are less tired, less agitated, less stressed, and less sick. Physically active kids are in a better condition for learning.” Professor Graham Fishburne, University of Alberta in Edmonton (Globe and Mail, Jan 2007)

3 How Active Are Students? It is recommended that children be active for 60 – 90 minutes per day for optimal growth & development. 2/3 of children do not meet this requirement. Improving the Health of Canadians, Promoting Healthy Weights, July 2006 The average Canadian child spends 42 hours per week in front of screens. 2008 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

4 A CRISIS? Obesity rates more than tripled in Canada from 1981 – 1996. Tremblay, CMAJ, 2000, 163(11):1429-33 Being overweight is a high risk factor for chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Major factors contributing to increased rate of diabetes are obesity and inactivity. 1 in 3 children born in 2000 will develop Type 2 Diabetes. Center for Disease Control 2003 36% of children & youth (ages 2-17) in Nfld. and Labrador are overweight or obese (highest in Canada) - Canadian average is 26%.

5 OUR CHILDREN “ this generation of children will be the first in modern memory whose life expectancy will not exceed that of their parents” Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, Oct. 2003 Our kids’ life spans are expected to be 2 to 5 years shorter than our own - - because of fat. And the time they will have may be plagued by problems. New England Journal of Medicine

6 THE SOLUTION ??? Over 90% of type 2 diabetes and 80% of coronary heart disease could be avoided or postponed with: - good nutrition - regular physical exercise - the elimination of smoking. The Integrated Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy

7 How Much Activity? The 60 – 90 minutes of activity recommendation can be largely accumulated throughout the school day with: - Physical Education: 90 min/ 5 108 min/ 6 126 min/ 7 - Daily Physical Activity in the classroom (20 minutes/ day) - Extra-Curricular Activities, i.e. Intramurals, Clubs and Monthly Challenges such as Terry Fox Run - Active School Playground at Recess/Lunch

8 The Importance of Recess Children who had more than 15 minutes of recess a day showed better behavior in class than those who had little or none. Students (and adults) need that short break because the brain needs that break. Children can benefit academically from physical activity during gym class and recess. Barros, Pediatrics Journal, 2009

9 Kids Need Their Recess

10 And Teachers Too!

11 WARNING Sitting, watching, and listening to this presentation may be hazardous to your health. Please go for a walk to ward off the negative side effects of being sedentary.

12 Playground Games (1) Tag and other chase games Wall games Skipping

13 Getting Started: You’ll Need Help Present information at a staff meeting. Seek volunteers. (follow link to Student Health) Recruit student leaders. Present to senior classes or Student Council. Hand out the Application Form (See Handbook, Appendix A). Conduct training sessions for student leaders to review games, safety guidelines, fair play, expectations, and conflict resolution. Have students design posters for game rules, skipping songs, and diagrams to post on windows facing the playground. Custodial Staff, Public Health Nurse, Parents

14 Suggestions for Implementation Design map of the playground areas. Avoid overcrowding. Make decisions on playground resources (storage, who is responsible, access, & storage). Consider a check out system with a sign out sheet. Equipment is signed out through student leaders. “You check it out and you are responsible to return it.” Have the physical education teacher use some P.Ed. classes to introduce playground games. Introduce new games on a regular basis. Promote the program. - Have a school assembly to kick off the program and introduce student leaders. Invite local media. - Establish a bulletin board with map of school yard, schedule of activities, assigned duties of leaders for week/ month.

15 Planning a Schedule (Suggestions to avoid overcrowding) Assign areas for each activity (multi-age groups) Assign specific age groups to specific play areas Rotate groups each day to play in different areas. Have multiple markings of each game to avoid line-ups.

16 Playground Areas One research study found: 50% of kids like to play on grass 39% on asphalt 11% on play structures. A multipurpose field and an asphalt area would be ideal for a school playground.

17 Preparing the Playground Area Design a map of the playground areas. Maximize space to minimize injuries. Make decisions on: Zones for activities; Use pylons to divide the playground into different sections. Signs that are needed Pavement markings (what ones, by whom, when, where) High traffic areas and exits that need to be considered for safety purposes. School entrances are not usually good play areas.

18 Student Leaders Recruit proven leaders. ( Consider an individual who has “bullied” before.) Students review the list of responsibilities (see Handbook, Appendix A) and students sign up if they wish to volunteer. At a meeting of student leaders, review: - Safety Issues- Conflict Resolution - Playground Rules- Scheduling (with a partner) - Responsibilities- Games & Activities - Equipment Sign Out - T-shirts to designate leaders For training ideas, see Handbook, Appendix B. Celebrate the hard work of student leaders. (Appendix C) Adult supervision is still crucial.

19 Safety First Before the program begins, check for potential hazards with any traffic issues addressed. Monitor playground regularly for glass, ice, garbage, or defects to playground equipment. If an injury occurs, one student stays with injured student while other goes to find teacher on duty or to the office. Shoelaces should always be tied up. Line- ups are accidents waiting to happen. Keep in mind asthma, allergies, bee stings, seizures, diabetes.

20 Playground Games (2) Asphalt Games Hopscotch


22 PROBLEM #1: NOT ENOUGH EQUIPMENT 1/ 10 Rule: 1 piece of equipment for every 10 students No bats or hockey sticks Student leaders set up a sign out system for equipment

23 Playground Kits Try to allocate funds to add equipment each year. Skipping Ropes (2 years) Double Dutch Ropes (2 years) Playground Balls (1 year) Basketballs (3 years) Soccer Balls (3 years) Flying Discs (2 years) Hacky Sacs Tennis Balls, Bean Bags (2 years) Sidewalk Chalk What else? (pylons, hoola hoops, footballs, jump bands)

24 Playground Funding Western School District (up to $3000 in the past) Wellness Coalitions (up to $500, Oct. 15 review) (follow link to Student Health) Newfoundland and Lab. Community Enhancement Program Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Infrastructure Fund Community Recreation Development Grants (for communities less than 6000 people), David Doyle, (709) 729-5281 NL Power: Evergreen

25 PROBLEM #2: NOT ENOUGH GAMES AVAILABLE Asphalt games (basketball, four square, hopscotch) Field activities (soccer baseball, capture the flag, kick the can, tag) Wall games (handball, wall ball) Skipping (speed, double dutch).

26 Playground Stencils for Asphalt Add multiple markings of each game. Children can pick an alternative activity rather than waiting in line. 1. Hopscotch with Home 2. Playground Math Calculator 3. Four Square 4. Number Line 5. Target Circle 6. Map of Canada Add your own – Be creative! Consider Map of Nfld. & Lab., Numbered Snake, Tic-tac-toe, Bump, Wall Ball, Picture of Whale, Solar System

27 Game Markings: Get students to paint pavement markings during art class on a warm dry day. The day before, sweep (or spray) the areas to be painted.

28 PROBLEM #3: DIFFERENT SETS OF RULES Have consistent rules for each activity. Post rules in nearby window. Introduce games in Phys Ed period. If bullying is an issue, identify hot spots on playground and monitor closely (with help of student leaders). Freeze at the bell. Wait for the whistle to line up. Walk back to class. Return equipment. Games should be inclusive. Don’t say, “You can’t play.” Ensure high visibility of teachers on duty.

29 REPORTING PROBLEMS Problems should be reported to teachers on duty. - Tattling - getting somebody into trouble - Telling - getting somebody out of trouble

30 PROBLEM #4: LACK OF PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS THREE POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: WALK:Students walk away from the problem & select another game. TALK:Students talk it over while coming to a resolution. Students leave the game while discussion is occurring. ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS

31 PROBLEM #5: DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS Establish expectations at staff meetings and meetings of student leaders. Communicate school wide consistent expectations. Schedule troubleshooting sessions to help student leaders with problem solving. Intervene only when necessary. Reward good behavior (“Good Sport Award”).

32 Playground Games (3) Field Activities Winter Games Special Equipment Days

33 Activity and Achievement Exercise is seen as the priming pump for students’ academic strides… The exercise itself doesn’t make you smarter, but it puts the brain of the learners in the optimal position for them to learn. ASCD, Education Week, Feb. 13, 2008

34 A commitment to a healthy school environment also promotes a healthy academic environment.

35 Everything I Learned in Life, I Learned on the Playground Play by the rules. Be polite. Keep track of your stuff. Share. Take turns. Tolerate differences of others. Give everyone a chance. Consider the feelings of others. Show sportsmanship. Shake hands. Practice to get better. Try your best. Never give up.

36 SPECIAL THANKS : Active Living Committee Western Health Labrador-Grenfell Health Western School District Teachers & Administrators

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