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Pedometers in PE

Audrey Rosenbrock,   Brush Middle School
Physical Activity Participation
Students at Brush Middle School have been wearing pedometers during physical education classes the past four weeks and are recording the results on a chart. They have become more aware of the number of steps necessary to travel one mile and also have learned there is a correlation between the accumulated steps and the intensity and effort put forth in class. Competition has increased among the students to see who can accumulate the most steps in the 45-minute PE class.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Challenges I encountered were having enough pedometers for my large classes when four pedometers were discovered to be defective and had to be replaced. I also had to purchase batteries to fix the defective ones. A couple of students experiment and learn how to cheat and somehow get more steps than what they earned. I had to monitor that, too.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

The improvement in my PE classes is overall student awareness about movement, steps, staying active and not being sedentary. The non-aggressive students are learning to strive for improvement in their daily steps, while the other students are in a competition mode to outdo their friends on that day's pedometer reading. It's really exciting when they tell me they got over 3000 steps during class!

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

Implementing pedometer use & recordings is in progress & thru April. Students each received a colorful, laminated paper sneaker with their names on it. Around the gym are posted landmarks, "1 mile, 5 miles,..." and students are posting their sneaker that represents their accumulated steps during PE class. This is a fun experience for students who have not ever used a pedometer. They are "hooked on" the idea of staying active at least 60 minutes each day!