A Journey to Empower Students to be Active

This year I decided to start something new to promote physical activity outside of our physical education classes.

After school, many children join different physical activities and sports, however, many go home and spend their afternoon sitting with an iPad in their hands, playing games and watching movies.

Today’s digital world is changing the way students learn. As a consequence, children get sometimes exposed to lots of screen hours and it is not always ideal for their physical, mental, and social development.

In order to promote physical activity at my school, I decided to ask students to share any sort of physical activities or sports they practiced outside of PE either with their friends, or their families. I used a couple of hashtags, #fitwithfamily, and #fitwithfriends for students to share under these two bigs umbrellas.

All year long, learners could send me pictures of them playing different sports or being physically active. It was great to see the variety of activities they filled the end of their days, weekends, or holidays with.

I had students hiking with their families, riding horses, skiing down the slopes, playing soccer, badminton, ice hockey, basketball, etc. Others shared their climbing, ice skating, swimming, and running moments.

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This idea also involved teachers and the community. Some teachers shared their journey being “fit” with other teachers and friends, with their families, or both. Some sent the pictures through social media such as “Twitter”, “Instagram” or “WeChat.” Some by email or just hard copies.

I printed it all the pictures and posted them on the door of the gym with the name of the student, the class, and section. I also had all the names of sports and the physical activities printed so students learned new words.

Although it was a small project targeting, students, teachers, and the community, I feel that it had a great impact on students’ learning. One of the best parts of this project for me was to see students who were not always so confident in PE feeling so proud of themselves when others asked them for instance about their fencing or climbing experiences.

As a physical education teacher, I want to educate children to be physical literates who enjoy physical activity and are keen to participate and try out new activities. It is essential that they understand the importance of physical activity to lifelong health and well-being.

I made this little video with Flipagram trying to capture the essence of the project.

In addition, @katievhobbs, the wonderful elementary art teacher at our school and I did a little collaboration where she asked students to draw their “fit moments.” Click here to see the collaboration between Art and PE.

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