BACK TO SCHOOL FOR TEACHERS
2002 by Carol Goodrow
Art by Sarah
School's starting soon and it's time to get ready for the 4 R's: Reading, Writing, Math, and Running. Here are a few quick tips for teachers to make your programs run smoothly.
1. Keep your kids hydrated. Send home a notice asking kids to bring water to school every day in sports waterbottles. Let the kids keep the waterbottles on their desks and sip while they work. There is just no other way to keep hydrated with water during the long day at school, even with a quick sip here and there from a drinking fountain and most lunch programs only serve milk or juice.
2. Start your healthy snack program during the first week of school. Start working on the kids both by teaching them the reasons for healthy snack and by motivating them with some sort of incentives, even if it's only putting their name on a chart. Send notices home to parents.
3. Encourage your kids to wear sneakers to school. If some want to wear fancy shoes or sandals, ask their parents to send in a spare pair of sneakers to keep in the classroom to change into for recess or your running program. This is must.
4. Schedule your fitness program, with your class, so that it's on a regular basis. be it a running program, exercise program, or nature walks. Find a way to integrate it with your academic curriculum. Remember that it's recommended that children exercise for an hour each day. Perhaps some of this hour can be with you. Find out how the kids feel about this. Have your kids fill out the Dream Hour of Exercise handout. Find out when they would most like to exercise.
5. Dedicate one bulletin board or corner of the room to your fitness program. Fill it with notices, kids art, photos, incentives, and charts.
6. Plan at least one activity where you invite another class to join you. Have your kids make paper glittered medals to give them at the end of the 'event'.
7. Teach sportsmanship, participation, and cooperation for a classroom fitness program. Competition is appropriate for after school team sports but not for a classroom running/fitness program.
8. Have a year long goal that kids can work for: a ribbon, a medal, a fun run, a party or award ceremony.
9. Share your personal year long running/fitness goals with your class. Have them watch your progress throughout the year.
10. Don't replace your academic curriculum with a fitness curriculum, but use the fitness component to enhance kids' learning.
Try our RED RIBBON Run to Read and Write program. It's a way to enrich your classroom program and it can be adapted to any level reader.
Have a kid who can't learn to read? Don't hesitate. Pick up a decodable reader program, such as the Merrill Linguistic Readers. Start from scratch with some structured basics and help that child read.
Have your children write in a journal, write stories about their running, and write letters. The RED RIBBON Run to Read and Write program is great for writing too.
Have a kid who can't spell? Start teaching simple word families and use our RUNNING/SPELLING tricks to help that child learn the rule breakers. Have a child who can't distinguish b's from d's? Teach KR's BEE trick and help that child get it all figured out.
Have your children track their school or home mileage by counting laps, 50 meter increments, 1/2 miles, or any distance of your choice. This is great for adding, fractions, subtraction (how many more).
Have a child who can't learn the math facts? Collect or buy running nos. to make a giant number line. Teach double facts first. Then +1's, then counting on. Have them use counting while they run. Call out, "Run 30 strides."
Teach subtraction, -1's, -2's, etc. To teach the VERY important counting up strategy, place 10 numbered signs on a running route at equal intervals . For 9-7, they walk to 7 then run from 7 to 9 (that's 2 intervals). For 8-5, they walk to 5 then run from 5 to 8 (that's 3 intervals). Relate this to the counting up 'difference' strategy.
Incorporate your own program, a recess lap program, a fitness program, or one of KR's MANY MANY programs. Plan a FUN RUN for the end of the year. Have fun, stay fit, and be the best you can be with KidsRunning.Com.
Don't miss last year's back to school suggestions.
BACK TO SCHOOL 2001
KR is dedicated to the wellness of our kids. It's full of ideas for integrating fitness and academics. Spend lots of time browsing the site and you will be able to create the running program of your dreams. For more suggestions, comments, or questions, please write to:
Good luck in school this year!