Days Three (Thursday) of the SHAPE America Conference continued the professional learning and networking from the first two days of the conference. Here’s a recap; the day four reflection and a final reflection will be posted sometime this weekend or early next week! I don’t go into crazy detail about all of the ideas I obtained from sessions, but hope to write about them as I implement them during the school year.
- “TOYs (Teachers of The Year) Just Want to Have Fun In Health Class” (Melanie Lynch and Mary McCauley). This session with Melanie & Mary gave me some ideas for the content portions of our skills based health curriculum. I’m always interested in seeing how other teachers teach the same content areas that I do, and I left with some ideas specific to nutrition and even some classroom management techniques. Melanie and Mary were engaging presenters who exude passion for health education.
- Exhibition Hall. I spent some time browsing the exhibition hall. I clearly had to spend time at the Springfield College booth (Class of ’08), and networked with a doctoral student there. I picked up a book from Human Kinetics on promoting health and academic success in schools using the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child approach. I had a great conversation with the representatives from the CDC’s School Health branch, and the Melanoma Foundation of New England. We were fortunate to obtain a facial analyzer machine from a similar foundation, the Melanoma Education Foundation. I swung by the Dove Self Esteem Fund booth to have a chat with Jessica Lawrence, and talked about all things health education on a macro level.
- “Health and Physical Education Advocacy Using the School Health Profiles” (Regan Dodd and Kim Kato). This was a brief, 30 minute presentation about using the school health profiles from the CDC to advocate for health programs. I fill out the survey every two years, but never looked at the end report, which I now plan to do!
- “Bye Bye, Binary: Inclusive Secondary Human Sexuality Education” (Emily A. Owens-Edington). I attended this session because the information around LGBTQ education is constantly shifting. Since we shifted our human sexuality curriculum, I’m always trying to stay up to date on the most current terminology, especially because the students stay right on top of that information. This session featured a lot of crowd sourcing from the audience, and I enjoyed hearing the perspectives of other teachers. Although I knew a lot of the information that was presented, I left with some ideas about how to promote an inclusive environment in my classroom, and a GREAT three sentence response to anyone who is using offensive language relating to someone’s sexual identity or orientation: “We don’t use people’s identities/orientations as insults in this space. We value and respect each other. Thank you.”
- “Physical Activity in the Classroom, Pittsfield, MA: A Success Story” (Linda Avalle). I’ve been attending a lot of sessions about implementing changes on a school wide level to increase student movement and engagement. Linda Avalle and representatives from the Pittsfield (MA) Public Schools shared their success story of shifting from a district where 2.7% of elementary students were physically active for the SHAPE/CDC recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day to 75% of students meeting that benchmark. Discipline referrals also went down significantly, AND they have the data to back it up! A 5 minute activity break in the morning and afternoon, a 20 minute structured recess, and 30 minutes of physical education daily did it.
Resources to Share…
- The Genderbread Person. I’ve used this in health class during human sexuality, and it does a great job with the differences between biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
One Takeaway to Implement ASAP…
- The three sentence response for when students use hurtful/negative language towards other students is a good one for teachers to have: “We don’t use people’s identities/orientations as insults in this space. We value and respect each other. Thank you.”
- One of the best aspects of conferences like SHAPE America? The conversations that happen between sessions or in the before/after moments when people are settling in. When you’re in a place surrounded by people who are passionate about the same things you are, it’s almost impossible to not have a great, profession enhancing conversation.
Now, about that grading…