Showing posts with label physical education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label physical education. Show all posts

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Building a Foundation for Lifelong Fitness

The fitness room familiarizes students with the fundamental equipment and core movements
that will enable them to put together safe, effective workouts anywhere in the world.

Greenwood’s fitness room encourages students and staff to make their physical well-being a priority.

Weight rooms can be intimidating: “What equipment do I use? Which exercises should I do? Am I doing this right?” When we were outfitting our fitness room, we had a goal in mind: to introduce students to the fundamental equipment and core movements that will enable them to put together safe, effective workouts anywhere in the world.

You won’t find any weight machines in the fitness room. The equipment is made up almost entirely of free weights, with stationary bikes and rowing machines available for cardio, warm-up and cool-down. Unlike weight machines, free weights allow our Health and Physical Education (HPE) teachers to model and teach proper form to students, increasing the impact of the workout and vastly decreasing the risk of injury.

“We wanted to provide a good selection of the basics students need to learn how to put together a great workout,” says Sam Clark, Greenwood’s Athletics and Recreation Coordinator.

The equipment in our fitness room is made up almost entirely of free weights, which
encourage proper form and greatly reduce the risk of injury. Stationary bikes and rowing
machines enable students to warm up and cool down.

In addition to being integrated into many physical education classes, especially our Personal Fitness courses, the space is also open at designated times throughout the week. Students and staff alike have been taking advantage of the opportunity to get in a stress-busting workout on a lunch break or before or after school. (It’s important to note that all users completed an orientation before using the space, and that students are supervised at all times while using the room.)

A recent Grade 9 HPE class made the benefits of this new space clear. After several classes focused on Personal Fitness, the class paired up to design and complete their own workouts. Students put together routines that targeted the arms, legs and core, and confidently moved through exercises including back squats, tricep extensions, planks, dumbbell snatches and bench presses.

“We want students to see the benefits of lifelong physical activity,” Sam says. “The fitness room is a great way to help them get into that mindset.”

Friday, 3 February 2017

Focusing on Fitness and Sharpening Skills: Volleyball/Basketball Specialist Course


One class per week is dedicated to conditioning, while another focuses on students'
sport of choice.

When we say our new volleyball/basketball specialist course is intensive, we mean it.

Greenwood students have a high level of interest in these two sports, and this new course reflects that interest. Through this course, students not only sharpen their setting, bumping, and  dribbling skills, they also significantly increase their overall physical fitness. Carla DiFilippo and Elanna Robson are two of Greenwood’s most accomplished coaches and athletes. Carla runs the volleyball portion of the course, while Elanna teaches basketball.

How does the course run?

One class per week is dedicated to conditioning, with increasing vertical jump and power - skills highly applicable to both sports - a major focus. A sample workout is:

  • 30 minutes to complete as many rounds as possible of the following three exercises:
    • 200 skips
    • 15 goblet squats (squatting while holding a weight against your chest)
    • 12 one-arm snatches per arm

Another class is devoted to students’ sport of choice. Carla and Elanna work with students to strengthen both the individual and collaborative technical skills that will take them to the next level in volleyball and basketball.  

Teachers Carla DiFilippo (left) and Elanna Robson are two of Greenwood's
most accomplished athletes and coaches.

After March Break, students shift focus to three other areas: Ultimate, rugby and personal fitness. Again, our teachers for these units have significant expertise in their sports: Carla leads the Ultimate unit; Elanna teaches personal fitness; and Jamie Lester, Greenwood’s senior coach and a former professional rugby player, teaches rugby. As with all PHE courses, health education is a compulsory component. Students complete their health units in a self-paced online format.

What do students think?


Carla and Elanna knew that this course would be demanding, but their students have proven throughout the year that they’re up to the challenge. According to Ms. D. “Everyone who signed up came ready to work and they have given it their all in every class.”

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Designing the New Gym: A Grade 8 Math Challenge

Grade 8 Mathematics students have been experiencing real-world thinking through an inquiry project focused on the construction of a new gym for the school expansion.

The focus of the project is design and planning, both spatially and financially. Before the students were introduced to the goals of the project, they spent a lesson brainstorming various considerations needed when designing a new gymnasium for the school. Their only resource was the blueprint for the third floor addition.

Students then interviewed the school's Athletic Director and Subject Team Leader of Health and Physical Education to get more detailed information about specific features needed in a gymnasium and a sense of the major factors to consider when designing and planning a new gymnasium.

Once the students had completed the brainstorming and interview tasks, they were given a package that included all the information needed to design and determine the cost of the new gym. The package included blueprints, photos, building code requirements (such as the fire code), sporting requirements and budget information.
Students critically examined the resources provided and determined which information would be relevant to their design. The last component of the project was for students to design the floor plan for the new gym. Final designs included dimensions, the layout for the gym and an estimated cost.

Students are presenting their design process and sharing some of the challenges they experienced with a local architect, who will then offer some additional points to consider when designing a physical education space.

The Grade 8 Math class has been engaged and excited by this project, as it has an authentic real-world connection, with a focus on creativity. The students were encouraged to explore their ideas and to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

One student stated that their favourite part of the project has been "finding information in a different way. We are doing the work, and we are almost doing what you would do as a real architect." Another student recognized the importance of the process, or "how hard it is to actually create a gym, and all the thought you have to put into the different aspects of it." Students realized that "you need to do a lot of things [and] you need to choose," while using mathematics to design, plan and financially justify your design.

Grade 8 students have thoroughly enjoyed completing an open-ended and realistic task that promotes creativity and supports the development of real-life skills through a mathematical lens.

Elysia Jellema, Math and Science Teacher
Erin Klassen, Math Teacher
Amanda Lester, Math Subject Team Leader

Friday, 16 January 2015

Extending Learning Through a Unique Field Trip

On Tuesday, December 2, the Grade 12 Exercise Science and Grade 12 Biology classes traveled to the University of Guelph to visit the Human Anatomy and Exercise Physiology laboratories. 

In the Human Anatomy Laboratory, our students had the privilege to learn human anatomy using body donors. Studying the structures of the human body in this environment is unsurpassed by any other learning tool. Students explored the structures and functions of the muscular-skeletal system, the nervous system, the cardio-respiratory system, and the urinary/reproductive systems. This field trip challenged students academically by teaching them the anatomy of the human body in real form, rather than studying diagrams in a text book.

At each station, students investigated and were verbally tested on the anatomical properties of each human system mentioned above. For example, in the urinary/reproductive station, students could observe the location of the kidneys in the human body and how the ureters attach to the bladder. In female specimens, they could also make the connection between the bladder and the uterus and why pregnant women need to urinate often!

Students made real life connections such as these at each station, which were led by fourth-year Human Kinetics students who created a safe learning environment and gave our students an idea of the academic depth needed at the postsecondary level.

The specimens in the Human Anatomy Laboratory have come from people who have graciously donated their bodies for the betterment of science and education and thus granted us an immeasurable privilege. We would like to extend our utmost thanks for this learning opportunity they provided for us.

After the Human Anatomy Laboratory, we traveled to the Exercise Physiology Laboratory to learn about three physiology tests: the maximal oxygen uptake (VO2Max) test, the maximal anaerobic power (Wingate) test, and a body composition test. Students had the choice to complete any of these tests, which are normally completed by third-year Human Kinetics students.

In the VO2Max Test, students ride on a bike while progressively increasing the intensity and measuring ventilation and oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration of the inhaled and exhaled air. VO2Max is reached when oxygen consumption remains at a steady state despite an increase in workload.

The Wingate Test is used to measure peak power and anaerobic capacity. These two values are important indicators in sports that require quick, all-out efforts, such as a hockey shift, a football game or the sprints needed in Ultimate Frisbee.

These tests challenged students both physically and academically, as they were able to take what they learned in the classroom and apply it to real life situations. Students actively completed at least one of the three tests. Also, the University of Guelph post-graduate students demonstrated the knowledge and interest needed to succeed at the post-graduate level.

Carla DiFilippo
Director of Athletics

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Personalized Learning and Challenge in Physical Fitness

In the Grade 10 and 11 Personal Fitness courses, we strive to offer a program that can target individual goals and interests. Health and Physical Education teacher Martha Hall discusses how this is achieved at Greenwood.

In a recent class, we utilized technology to encourage activities that are personalized to an individual's needs. Each student downloaded the Nike Training App to their mobile device. This app allowed them to personalize their workout in a variety of ways.

Firstly, students can choose the type of workout they want to do, focused on getting lean, toned or strong. Within the program, they can choose to target areas for growth, such as endurance, strength, power or abdominal muscles. They can also select beginner, intermediate or advanced levels in order to challenges themselves and work at their own level. The app also allows students to select their own music to play during their workout, which helps to motivate student participation.

Once the students start the program, the teachers monitor the students' technique by videotaping short segment of training to provide instant feedback on how to improve their form. This use of technology also enables students to analyze their own form and make any necessary corrections to ensure they are using proper technique. This is called Assessment as Learning and Assessment for Learning. Students in these courses assess themselves on a regular basis, using Assessment as Learning, in order to reflect upon their participation in class and to determine their areas of growth for future classes.

Moving forward in this class, students are given choice on a daily basis. With two teachers facilitating in the course, we are able to offer specialized classes (such as yoga or CrossFit) or visits to GoodLife or other local gyms.