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Friday, May 14, 2010

Part 1B (Miles)

Where is the web-site from? Where in the world? Which country? What city and state/province is the story from?

This web-site is from CBC, which is the Canadian broadcasting company in Canada. The story takes place in the province of Saskatoon. This story also talks about a High School in Chicago that also is using a fitness plan to improve its student’s academic performance.

What do you think about this news piece....interesting...why or why not?

I think that this news piece is very interesting. I was very surprised by how much all the students improved. For example, Bernie’s comprehension improved 400% and his reading improved 25%. These are amazing results in such a short period of time. Another thing that really helps support that this works is that the entire class improved one letter grade. It is really hard to dispute a program with such strong evidence. It’s amazing to me that programs like these are proven to work, but when a school is looking to make budget cuts the physical education program is one of the first areas they look at. After watching this it made me think back to when I was in high school I did better in school when I was in a sports season. I really hope that more and more schools start adopting programs like these.

Why don’t we hear anything about the PE teacher being involved with City Park Collegiate experiment? How will you ensure that your PE program will be a benefit to the students and faculty of your school?

It is sad to say but the after watching the video it was very clear that they do not have a strong physical education program. The video showed many students in PE just standing around not doing anything. This tells me that the physical education teachers do not care whether the students participate or not. The school needs to get a teacher with some passion and enthusiasm for physical education. My physical education will benefit the students at my school because it will always be an energetic and interesting environment. Throughout the school year I will have new and fun units that will grab the student’s attention. The faculty will benefit from this program because after my PE class the students will be relaxed and ready to concentrate. I feel embarrassed for the PE teacher at this school because after just a few seconds of seeing their class I could tell they do not love what they do.

What are were the main outcomes/benefits of the program? Were you surprised from their findings? Are these outcomes similar to our New York State PE Standards? Explain your answer by giving details and examples, while comparing and contrasting.

The main results from this program were very positive. The students were all improving in reading and writing comprehension and math. Bernie, who was one student who was having a lot of behavioral problems as well as academic problems, improved his comprehension 400%. Also behavioral problems were decreasing dramatically. One student found that running on the treadmill helped him control his anger and it helped him focus in class. The entire class averaged about a one letter grade improvement. It was amazing to see that twenty minutes on a treadmill before class can really change a persons entire outlook on school. The attendance rate increased as well. The students actually wanted to come to school just so that they could use the treadmills. With more students being in school everyday they were able to cover more material in the classrooms. This program is definitely similar to our New York State Learning Standards. The students are actually increasing their personal health twenty minutes before class, which related to NYS LS 1A. Also, the students are given options as far as what type of exercises they are going to do, which is similar to NYS LS 1B, creating a fitness plan. The teacher is the one responsibly for providing a safe and healthy environment, which she is doing. She is going above and beyond with this program because it creates an even healthier environment. The only NYS LS that is not really met in this story is number 3. The students are not given any other options of places that they can go to workout. Now maybe the story just didn’t cover that information and the teacher did provide the students with that type of information but we can’t be sure.

What is BDNF and what does it have to do with PE and learning? How do you get BDNF or other associated goodies? What are the names of two of the “key” books and their authors that currently outline the benefits of exercise and learning/academics? At least one is mentioned in the news piece.

BDNF is a neurochemical that helps the brain grow. BDNF also improves you take information and remember it. This has to do with PE and learning because exercise increases the amount of this particular chemical. However, exercising is not the only way to increase BDNF. BDNF can be increased by reducing the amount of calories you eat in a day. Two books that discuss BDNF are “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” by John J. Ratey and “Natures Ritalin for the Marathon Mind” by Stephen C. Putnam.
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