North Park Elementary School – Health & Wellness


north park elementary schoolNorth Park Elementary has been a part of the Let’s Move Active School program since 2013 and is proud to be awarded the Let’s Move Active School National Recognition Award!  We have been working hard for many years to create a culture of health and wellness in our school. We have achieved this goal because we have taken advantage of many grants and opportunities along the way. Some of these programs include Healthy Highway and Fuel Up to Play 60. This award is truly the result of a team effort and a commitment made by teachers, students, families, and administrators to teach and model the value of healthy choices and a physically active lifestyle.  Of course, this did not happen overnight or without a tremendous amount of effort, but it has all been worth it to see the transformation and be able to make an impact on student health and wellness. Continue reading

The Technology Revolution in Physical Education


technology physical educationAnyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love technology.  I am affectionately known at my school as a “computer geek” and I am happy to say that many of my colleagues come to me to ask for help when it comes to technology.  I grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s and my dad worked for IBM.  He was a troubleshooter and worked on IBM’s original mainframe computer.  I have always enjoyed Science and Math and I even took a cutting edge computer class when I was in the seventh grade.  I had no idea what a computer was or what it could, do despite the fact that my dad worked for a world-class computer company But nevertheless, I found the class extremely interesting.

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My Guide to Leading Enthusiastic Student Groups


student groupsDuring the majority of my career I have been on the fringe of creating a student leadership group at the elementary level. The idea in my mind was that this group would consist of 12-15 students and we would meet to come up with projects that would benefit the school population as well as the members of the group. While the idea was appealing and intriguing to me, I kept coming back to the potential obstacles.

  • How would I meet with students during the day when I rarely have time to eat lunch?
  • If I could find the time, how would I convince classroom teachers that time spent on this project would be worth it?
  • How would I choose when so many students might potentially want to become involved? How could I get parent support?
  • What if the group was challenging to manage?
  • What projects would we do?
  • Where would we come up with resources to carry out the projects?

The questions kept coming but the answers did not, so for many years I was in a state of indecision. Then, I had the opportunity to attend an event run by Fuel Up to Play 60 and saw groups of students enjoying the experience with their teachers and with each other. I attended this event with a colleague who is a classroom teacher and has always supported our efforts to teach students to make healthy choices. Together we decided then and there that we would take the plunge and start a group the following fall. Continue reading

Staying Current and Energized as a Physical Educator


North Park PE

Let me first start by saying that after you have taught elementary PE for more than thirty years, there is a chance that your body will start to react somewhat like the character of the Tin Man in the story of The Wizard of Oz. My joints fit the part without a doubt. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I can’t get moving. I just seems often that I need a little “oil” to loosen up the joints as I begin my day. Usually I accomplish this by working out at my local fitness club so that by the time I am dressed for school I am ready to go!

Most days I laugh about this Tin Man analogy and other days I spend some time reflecting on it. Just because I have been teaching for “ages”, and my body reminds me of that fact by not always being able to complete the physical tasks of the job with the same grace and ease that I did in my twenties and thirties, does that mean my mind and teaching ability need to automatically follow suit? That is to say just because my body acts “old” some days, do I have to teach in an “old” or “ancient” way to match?

While it is certainly true that everyone is different, we probably all know a Physical Education Teacher or two who would fit the age/teaching ability correlation. Anyone who knows me well knows that I do not accept the notion that physical age equates to “job age”. In fact, I might even argue that Continue reading