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Teaching Healthy Lifestyles in Middle School PE

Teaching Healthy Lifestyles in Middle School PE

Strategies From an Award-Winning Program

$26.57 CAD $38.95 CAD


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    Western society’s tendency toward unhealthy lifestyles is well documented. Physical education can be a powerful resource in resisting this trend, helping children build healthy habits that extend not only beyond the classroom but beyond their school years as well.

    For years, author Crystal Gorwitz has been at the forefront of a wave of healthy changes by developing a high-quality physical education curriculum: Her school has won a PEP grant and two NASPE STARS School awards, and she was honored as NASPE’s National Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2004. She shares her award-winning experience in Teaching Healthy Lifestyles in Middle School PE: Strategies From an Award-Winning Program.

    This guide offers

    • sample unit plans that pave the way for students to make healthy, lasting changes;

    • ideas for adding spark to your lessons and including more content on fitness, wellness, and lifestyle;

    • tips for using heart rate monitors and pedometers in your physical education curriculum;

    • ideas for working with colleagues, administrators, parents, businesses, and other organizations to enhance and support your physical education program;

    • strategies for building wellness programs for staff and after-school and summer programs for kids; and

    • ideas for authentic assessment that focus on measures of students’ health.

    The first chapter describes how you can embark on the PATH to teach the highest-quality physical education program. The four letters of PATH represent proven teaching strategies that will help you emphasize healthy lifestyles in your program:

    Planning. Learn how you can set goals for making the changes you want to see in your program and designing your curriculum in thoughtful ways to achieve those goals.

    Activity. Simply moving is a key to a healthy lifestyle! You can reduce standing-around time in your gym and get students active in measurable ways.

    Technology. Heart rate monitors and pedometers offer new and exciting ways to get kids interested in their health and bring life to your gym.

    Harmony. Discover how reaching out to others can enhance your program and extend its success far beyond the gym walls.

    Each chapter begins and ends with applications of PATH to the chapter’s topic, and sidebars throughout each chapter called Ideas That Work further apply PATH concepts to the content.

    High-quality education requires high-quality assessment, so chapter 2 is full of advice on designing authentic assessments that give you meaningful information about your students’ health. It also includes sample assessments you can use as a guide in designing your own.

    No matter how solid a program is, it won’t be successful if the students don’t find it fun and exciting. That’s why chapters 3 and 4 are filled with ideas on enhancing your fitness instruction with lively activities. Chapter 5 focuses on incorporating heart rate monitors and pedometers in your classes, which is not only fun for kids but also gives them an accurate view of how sedentary or active they are.

    But this book doesn’t stop with great ideas for your class curriculum; it shows how you can extend healthy lifestyles beyond the classroom. In chapter 6 you learn how to inspire school staff to adopt healthier habits, and chapter 7 outlines how to create after-school programs and design incentives for students to stay active in the summer months.

    Teaching Healthy Lifestyles in Middle School PE is the resource you need to lead the way to healthy change throughout your school. Through the book’s expert guidance, you will be empowered to improve your program, get your students involved in fun activities now, and start them on a path of fitness for life.


    Reference for middle school and junior high school physical education teachers, directors, and administrators. Supplemental text for methods or curriculum courses.

    Chapter 1 Getting Started

    It’s all about the PATH!

    Chapter 2 Beyond Dressing Out

    Use authentic assessment to find out how healthy your students are (or aren’t)!

    Chapter 3 Unit Plans for a Lifetime

    Moving beyond sport leads to motivated lifetime movers!

    Chapter 4 Fitness Warm-Ups

    Use the five components of fitness to plan fun warm-up activities that build your students’ bodies and minds!

    Chapter 5 Using Heart Rate Monitors and Pedometers

    Simple, inexpensive technologies can provide images of a healthy lifestyle!

    Chapter 6 Staff Wellness

    Follow the PATHway to a successful wellness program!

    Chapter 7 After-School and Summer Programs

    Promoting a healthy lifestyle beyond the classroom!

    Crystal Gorwitz has been teaching physical education since 1992. She is a 2001 Carol M. White PEP grant recipient, the 2003 Wisconsin Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year, the 2003 Midwest Middle School Teacher of the Year, and the 2004 NASPE National Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year. She also was selected for the 2011 Champion Award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

    A teacher at Hortonville Middle School in Hortonville, Wisconsin, Gorwitz led her school in receiving NASPE STARS School Awards in 2005 and 2008. This award recognizes schools with physical education programs of excellence. Under her guidance, her school also received a Bronze Award from the Alliance for a Healthy Generation, which recognizes schools that provide a healthy environment for students’ learning.

    Gorwitz is a member of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) and is president-elect of Wisconsin AHPERD. In her spare time, she enjoys doing yoga, fishing, and kayaking.