"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." --John Dewey

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolve to "Log It"

Have you done it yet?  Made your New Year's resolution, I mean.  If your resolution has anything to do with fitness or simply being more active, I have a suggestion for you that is inexpensive and easy to do; wear a pedometer.  I guarantee that you will be surprised at how much walking you actually do during a normal school day.  I find that the recommended 10,000 steps a day is usually not much of a challenge, and I bet the same will be true for you, too.

Now here's how you can turn your New Year's resolution into a fun class project.  By logging in to an account at http://peclogit.org you can keep track of the steps you take each day and the site will trace your progress on a map of the United States, as if you were walking from state capital to state capital.  (Right now I'm approaching Dover, Delaware en route from Trenton, New Jersey.)  You can even set up a group account so your students who wear pedometers can keep track of their progress as well.  As account manager, you can set daily goals, participate in a challenge with another class, and print readily accessible Certificates of Achievement for members of your class who reach a milestone, or simply need a little recognition.  You can even use the built-in mail function to easily send messages to the whole group, or individual participants.  (That function alone can be worth creating an account if you have no other means of online communication set up.)

And here's a suggestion for taking the project just a little further.  Add a wall map of the U.S. to your classroom and keep track of your progress there too.  In my classroom (I use the hallway, actually, but I digress), I add a star to the map each time we reach a state capital, and trace the straight-line path we took to get there.  You can even print the congratulatory message from the site and learn something about each capital along the way.  

This website really will help you keep that New Year's resolution, and may encourage your sometimes-too-sedentary students to be more active as well.  And who knows, you might even get a parent or two to participate.

With all that said, let me take a minute to wish everyone a quick Happy New Year before I dash away from the computer.  For some reason, I have a sudden urge to hop on the treadmill.

Look out, Dover, here I come!

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