Incorporating fun physical outdoor games and indoor classroom exercises are great ways for teachers to encourage students to establish healthy habits. The National Health Education Standards & Common Core State Standards aim to support a whole-child approach to education-one that that ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged in their learning. Here are a few tips for establishing healthy habits in the classroom.
- Share the Healthy Habits Pledge above with students and discuss each line. Challenge students to learn the pledge and share it with family members. The goal here is to inspire the whole family to focus on good nutrition and support healthy habits. Post the pledge in the classroom and review it from time to time as students gain more insights into personal health.
- Introduce daily exercise to your students. Use physical activities to start the day and/or to transition from one activity to another. Throw in an extra exercise on tough days, or use more than one when weather conditions inhibit outdoor activity. These short, physical exercise breaks are a positive way to settle students for their day’s work. And don’t forget breathing exercises! They can be done at any time of day and can help refocus or calm students as needed.
- Gather and display reference materials for the classroom on topics of nutrition, fitness, and overall health. Resources might include library or trade books, magazines, posters, and kid-friendly materials printed from government websites. If appropriate, save links to relevant websites in a dedicated folder on classroom computers.
- Encourage students to start collecting packaging and nutritional labels from food products. Explain that they will be learning to read them and using them for comparisons. Establish an area in the classroom where these can be stores or displayed.
For free sample pages, classroom exercises, and ideas see Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids.
This past year I have been involved in correlating some of our existing series to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). So far, we’ve correlated more than 100 titles, including all of our Daily Warm-Ups books. You can see which series have been correlated by going here: www.teachercreated.com/standards/.
In addition, all of our new books will be supported or correlated to the CCSS.
To help teachers implement the CCSS in their classrooms, we’ve created Common Core checklists for grades K–6. These checklists are free and can be downloaded at www.teachercreated.com/standards/checklists. Just select your grade and then download and print out the checklists you wish to use in your classroom.
You’ll notice that there are areas to write in dates, as well as a section for notes. In this space, you can write the materials used or any problems encountered while teaching the standard. The checklist is in the landscape format so that it can be easily hole-punched and inserted in a class notebook. Consider sharing this part of your notebook with parents who are interested in learning more about these standards.
IRA always has something to offer in the way of understanding the world of education. This year more than any other, it concentrated on trying to make sense of — or as I kept hearing, “unpack”– the Common Core State Standards. The implementation of the CCSS was on everyone’s mind. The fact that IRA advertised over 50 sessions that were all about the standards spoke highly to that. Also, getting into many of those sessions was almost impossible. Sometimes there would be 300 hundred seats, all filled, half an hour before the session. I think it says that while teachers know they need to use these standards to set practices, they just aren’t quite sure about them. The other part of the standards is that I didn’t hear much about the final assessments. No one quite knows what they will look like.
These were the questions that seemed foremost in the minds of those I spoke with. Although no one has absolute answers, they are good food for thought. Here they are: How are the CCSS taking shape in your school? Are you busy seeking new materials? Are you re-evaluating what you have so you can see where some of what you already do will fit? What are you doing to get your kids ready for assessments? Do you have any idea how those will look in your state?