To end the school year, the Live Fit Tooele County coalition awarded three more teachers prizes for things they are doing to promote student health and wellness in the classroom.
The winning entries were Elise Pratt, Settlement Canyon Elementary; Cayla Betz, Bonneville Academy; and Crystal Watson, Rose Springs Elementary.
“We use GoNoodle a lot as a fun, easy way to get in a bit of exercise and to wake up our brains,” Pratt said. “Some of our favorite ones are Count and Exercise to 120, Melting, Bones Bones, and the High Jump.”
GoNoodle is a movement program used in elementary schools. Pratt also uses Fluency and Fitness slides.
“It helps the students learn skills while exercising,” she said. “We have slides for the alphabet, numbers, addition, and subtraction. I flip through the slides while students practice a math or literacy skill. About every 10 slides there is an exercise slide. During that slide they practice various exercises like lunges, squats, sit-ups, jogging in place and stretching.”
Betz said her students take wellness seriously including physical, mental and emotional wellness.
“Each day we help build our physical wellness by doing things such as dancing, yoga, running, jumping jacks and stretching,” Betz said. “We also discuss things that are healthy and good for our bodies and things that are not healthy and bad for our bodies.”
She said the students improve their mental and emotional wellness by discussing how to prevent bullying, what to do if they are being bullied, what to do if they have a problem at recess, how to fill each others buckets, how to be their Bonneville BEST, what to do if they are having a bad day and the importance of giving compliments to those who have been working hard and helping others.
Watson said she uses PowerPoints that have multiplication facts. After every third slide the students do jumping jacks, sit-ups, arm circles, dancing or run in place.
“The kids beg to do my multiplication exercise powerpoints. They are learning and exercising at the same time,” Watson said.
“In my classroom, we combine exercise with learning our multiplication and division facts. We have a fun time with arm circles and knee bends,” she said. “I also have students get up and move around the classroom to discuss topics from our Journey’s Stories. Kids love to be in motion and I use this to my advantage to help students to learn.”
Malaena Toohey, health educator, said teachers throughout Tooele County are doing amazing things in the classroom to encourage overall health with the students.
“The reality that a healthy body equals a healthy mind is being understood as more and more teachers catch the vision of the importance of providing a healthy classroom environment for their students,” Toohey said. “By doing so, classroom behavior and scores improve.”