Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013

INNOVATIVE PRACTICE
Rationale / Priority (250 words) Thurgood Marshall’s physical education program has impacted how physical education is being taught. Three years ago, teachers Glenn McCormick and Mike Vanelli evaluated their program and determined that at best, 60% of students were fully participating. The students were uninterested in the curriculum and the traditional team sports aspect was not motivating or relevant to many of the students. The teachers decided a drastic change was needed if they wanted to have all their students participating regularly as well as develop a deeper understanding of the fitness components and how to apply fitness concepts to their lives. They began purchasing only fitness equipment and designed a curriculum that was focused on selfassessment and goal setting as well as incorporated heart rate monitors and interactive Power Points so that all the students could access the fitness concepts. In addition the teachers fully participated with the students. The classes resemble a very motivated fitness club that includes the how and why to fitness. The students come in and immediately grab a heart rate monitor and expertly put it on. The class might be a video with exercises that the teacher and student leaders perform or perhaps unique fitness stations scattered throughout the gym targeting different fitness and skill components. Throughout the period there are heart rate monitor checks and reminders to work to their target heart rate. You may see a fitness PowerPoint and interactive discussions on the fitness components. Additionally, the use of fitness journals and group quizzes are evident each week. In order for the physical education practices to change, there had to be a paradigm shift in not only how the instruction was being delivered but in the content of the instruction. Having said that, the first action steps the teachers initiated was getting trained in heart rate monitor and a deeper use of the physical education text, Fitness for Life. The high school physical education content specialist, Scot Talbot, met with the team and provided training for both action steps for the teachers. Another action step was directly involving the students. The teachers talked to the students and told them about the changes and why they were gong to be implemented. The fitness shift was four days a week fitness components with one day of cardio activities that involve ball sports. The teachers put in extra hours to become heart rate monitor experts as well as proficient in developing curriculum for all the students to access the text. Equipment was carefully purchased over the last three years to gradually acquire full class sets for some of the equipment and at least enough of other equipment so they might be used in fitness stations. The teachers used video, visuals, student monitors and outside support to reevaluate all the additions to the program. The key, and most important, stakeholders were the students. The school was supportive in the plan and the direction of the program and provided the teachers with time to plan and approval of the equipment purchases. Implementation factors: # people: # hours: Cost estimate: Other(s): 3 50+ per teaching week At least $2000.00 per year Support of the over 3 years with administration
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Strategies that were Implemented (250 words)

Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013 Demonstrated Application & Measurable Outcomes (400 words) The targeted group includes 100% of the freshmen and sophomores at Thurgood Marshall. Before the teachers implemented the whole school changed it was noted that a full 40% of the students were not actively participating or engaged in physical education, often times these were the same students who were not successful in their other classes as well. Once the teachers told the students about the change to the program there was a shift in the students. The focus, was now on individual improvement, self-assessment and goal setting and they would be given immediate feed back through the heart rate monitor and focused instruction from the teacher. The students would learn how to be in charge of their own fitness , to set goals, work at their own pace and be constantly challenged in class. The students embraced the change. The students were considerably more active but more importantly they were taught the how and why. Physical education now centered on the education aspect. The students learned how and why their bodies responded to the activities, they added the nutrition component and understood the components of fitness as well as what was needed to strengthen each component. When you attend a physical education class at Thurgood Marshal High School you will see 95 %-100% full participation, the students are on time, dressed and ready to go from the minute they walk in the gym. They are self-motivated and waste no time in setting up their own heart rate monitors and begin the work out with an intensity and focus for learning. The teacher is continually correcting technique, the students know the cues and they work hard for the entire time. All the students demonstrate a clear understanding of the concepts being taught with supplemental support from the text in the form of a PowerPoint that the students view weekly. The lessons are tailored to the class with some concepts frontloaded and the quizzes are taken until the material is learned. The students are clearly in charge of their own learning and each student works at their pace. When class ends all of the students are tired no matter what their fitness level and they take the time to replace the heart monitors for the next class, clearly there is a respect for the equipment and the relevance for what they are doing is not lost on the students.

Sharing Best Practice (250 words)

Our mission statement reads; all SFUSD students will become literate in 21st century physical education, life-long fitness and wellness. They will develop positive social skills, learn to self-assess, learn to set personal goals and become informed consumers. Our ultimate goal is for students to embrace healthy lifestyles and become joyful learners through physical activity. All of our teaching practices should be looked at through the lens of our mission statement. In the spring of 2013 a small group of physical educators observed the classes at Thurgood Marshall and listened to the teachers explain how they aligned their practice to focus on life-long fitness and wellness. In addition, they watched a short video with a powerful student voice segment on the impact the physical education program had on their learning. The impact with teachers continued with the district professional development day in August when the Thurgood teachers shared their classroom success and put the teachers through a sample workout. As a result, a number of schools want to shift their program as well. The success story was inspiring and teachers see the results and the significance of the change for the students. Our future professional development is centered on shifting your program to align with our mission statement and using your resources to support the change. The shared practice will continue to happen in the form of model lessons as well as shared videos and class observation.
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Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013

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