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Monday, May 15, 2017

Why Does Fitness Finders® Use Incentive Awards?




















Did you know that Fitness Finders® incentive based system is known as a token economy? Token economies feature cards, “tokens”, or money to encourage or deter behavior.

But why does a token economy work? Why do tokens encourage positive behavior and how has this model become so successful?

Tokens Are Earned

At the foundation of token economies is the understanding that an incentive must be earned, that not everyone gets it and therefore it has value. If every child received a Toe Token® for running, regardless of distance, the Toe Token® would lose some of its motivational power. For example, Fitness Finders® doesn’t sell Toe Tokens® to parents to be used as gifts because this dilutes the value of earning the award. 

Tokens Are Scarce

Tokens hold a lot of value when the student has accomplished something, and when everyone else knows what action they took to receive the token. Challenges and goals add to the incentive, but account for the development and ability of the students. It is important to set achievable but ambitious goals.

Tokens Are Fun

Our tokens work with children because they are fun. We offer over 600 unique awards in 180 different bright, eye-catching colors.

With so many variations, colors, and styles, token selection could easily get overwhelming. But don’t worry! We will happily help you find the perfect award for your situation, or let your students vote on tokens that they want to earn!

Charles Kuntzleman, Founder of Fitness Finders, said, “Select incentives that are visible, countable, attractive, and perceived as highly valuable by the recipients.”

Tokens Set the Stage for Lifelong Lessons

Not only are token encouraging in the present, but they can also motivate students into the future. To facilitate this lifelong impact, Kuntzleman suggests periodically reminding students of the importance of the activity behind the token. This means communicating why the desired behavior is beneficial in life and how it can impact students in a positive way.

Even if the students remain focused on tokens in the moment, they will look back one day and remember the lessons emphasized.

At the end of the day, the desired behavior is the ultimate goal. Tokens just happen to be a fun, motivational, and inexpensive way to increase participation and effort. So get some tokens and tackle those goals!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Recommendations for Mileage Club® Frequency and Scheduling





















It’s never too early to start planning your Mileage Club® season for next year! That’s why we are using this blog to talk about recommended running frequency and Mileage Club® scheduling tips.

Keep the Climate in Mind

Weather is an important factor in Mileage Club® planning. If you live in a state where it rains relentlessly, consider scheduling Mileage Club® more frequently. If you’re scheduled to run every day, and it rains three out of five days, then at least you get two days a week to run the program. Even if it doesn’t rain, it’s okay to for the kids to run every day, according to Debbie Drake, Fitness Finders’ Mileage Club® Coordinator.

“It is okay to run every day as long as it is fun and the students aren’t pressured,” said Drake.

Also, consider the season. Is it super-hot in August? Is it snowy in December? Is it just right in September? The better you know your state and your climate, the better you can plan!

School Schedule

Be sure to consider holidays, recess time, and your school year schedule in your planning. Every school does things a little bit differently, so there’s no rigid format that works best for all. Try to pick a time of the year when you can stick to the same weekly schedule for most of the program. Finding a consistent pattern will help Mileage Club® gain traction and popularity among the students.

Available Volunteers

Is there a time of year when teachers or parents seem to have more time? (What a pleasant fiction!) If enthusiastic volunteers are crucial to program success, there is value in factoring them into your planning. Keep in mind that the better the weather the more plentiful the volunteers, so plan your season strategically!

Above all remember that no matter the weather and no matter who shows up, Mileage Club® is about the students, and helping them have fun and reach their goals. Plan for greatness.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Celebrate Students' Mileage Club® Accomplishments!



















The end of the school year is almost here! Yay! Now is a great time to plan an awesome Mileage Club® celebration. Whether your program is in the Spring, Fall, or both - you have the opportunity to give a final hurrah to another successful year of fun, hard work, and achieved goals.

Here are some ideas to make your Mileage Club® celebration extra special.

Soup Up the Setting

We suggest organizing a schoolwide assembly to cap off Mileage Club® for the year. Public recognition is a fantastic way to motivate students for future years and it will mean the world to them to be recognized in front of their peers. Go all out, and utilize available resources such as the sound system, lighting, and stage. This is also a great time to recognize and thank any teachers or parents who volunteered to make Mileage Club® successful throughout the school year!

We think it’s important to take advantage of any opportunity to remind students that exercise and being active goes hand-in-hand with academics! You can also use this time for other end of the year recognitions, as well. For example, you could announce Field Day results or celebrate any student successes in the classroom.

Amp Up the Awards


Toe Tokens® are an excellent and proven motivator throughout the season, but how about some fresh awards to end the school year on a high note? We have an amazing assortment of awards to choose from: Mileage Club® tee shirts, water bottles, sports packs, dog tags, wristbands, pencils, baseball caps, and more.

Finding reasons to recognize won’t be difficult; your students have been working hard!

Outstanding Mileage Club® Achievements

Outstanding achievements can be awarded to exceptional participants who go above and beyond – in a variety of areas:

  • Recognize outstanding amounts of accumulated mileage by awarding Mileage Club® T-shirts and Baseball Caps to the top three performing boys and girls.
  • Recognize outstanding consistency by awarding the student with the best Mileage Club® attendance record with a Mileage Club® Sport Bottle. “You’ve gotta show up to go up!”
  • Recognize outstanding selflessness by awarding a Mileage Club® Sport Pack to the students who volunteer to help keep Mileage Club® on track or who always have an encouraging word to say to their peers.


Goals Met

The process of setting a goal and working hard to achieve it without giving up is an important life skill that will benefit your students for their whole lives. Depending on your program, goals might have a large or small scope:


We hope these ideas are helpful. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your school’s specific needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@fitnessfinders.net or 800-789-9255. We hope you have a great end of the year celebration. We can’t wait to partner with you again next year!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cardiovascular Testing in Physical Education by Charles T. Kuntzleman



Testing in Physical Education

There are four main domains of physical education. These four are: acquisition of motor skills, physical fitness, knowledge (strategies and rules of the game; plus benefits of physical activity, how to learn motor skills and mechanical analysis of movement, to name a few) and physical activity-related personal-social skills (such as best effort, sportsmanship, cooperation and others).

Why test?

Many teachers use testing only to see if their students are making satisfactory progress. Student evaluation is just a small part of the equation, however. In fact, testing primarily concerns you and your curriculum, not only your students.

For starters, testing allows the teacher to tailor-make the curriculum. Simply put, if your students do well in the mile run/walk, but perform motor skills poorly, the instructor should increase the emphasis on teaching a variety of fundamental, object control and rhythm skills. Testing also allows the teacher to design a special program for a student not progressing as desired.

Testing also helps an instructor measure curriculum effectiveness. If the emphasis has been on throwing and catching yet the students do poorly on a throwing and catching test, something is wrong. This tells the instructor that the teaching strategies did not work or that the school does not schedule adequate time for physical education class.

Finally, testing gives motivated students incentive to become physically active.

The above reasons are much more educationally sound than testing only for grades. Viewing testing as an evaluation of teaching, learning, the curriculum and school environment is a much healthier and more holistic approach to assessment.

Cardiovascular Testing in Schools


Aerobic fitness refers to the ability of the body to pick up oxygen, transport it through the body and have the body use it. Currently, several cardiorespiratory tests are used to measure the aerobic fitness levels of youth in America's schools. Here is an evaluation of five of the more popular aerobic tests.

Mile Run/Walk


Tests cardiorespiratory fitness levels by having students run (jog or walk if necessary) one mile as fast as possible.

Equipment
A one-mile course, one stopwatch and a score card and pencil for each student.

Pros
  • Very simple to give. 
  • Distance long enough to determine aerobic power rather than speed. 

Cons
  • Could be a bit longer. Students can often "gut" it out, making it a test of motivation rather than fitness. 
  • Kids can see where they finished, causing poorly performing students embarrassment. 
  • Often hard to motivate students to perform to their ability level. 

600-Yard Run/Walk


Supposedly tests cardiorespiratory fitness levels by having students cover 600 yards as fast as possible. It is one of the weakest cardiovascular tests summarized here.

Equipment
A 600-yard course, one stopwatch and a score card and pencil for each student.

Pros
  • Short. 
  • Simple to deliver after the course is laid out. 
  • Good for young students, Grades 1-3 
Cons
  • Tests speed rather than aerobic power. 
  • Often difficult to lay out a course which is 600 yards long. 


Pacer (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Run


Students run for as long as possible between two marked lines set at 20 meters apart. They navigate the distance between two marked lines, keeping pace with a series of beeps. Students can miss two beeps before they are stopped. Score is determined by how many laps a student can do.


Equipment

A tape player, a PACER cassette tape, marker cones, lines measured 20 meters apart and a score card and pencil for each student.

Pros

  • Easily done indoors. 
  • Most like the treadmill test with its progressively building tempo. 

Cons
  • Requires more equipment than most other tests. 
  • Often difficult for students to learn. 
  • Can only test a few students at a time. 

20-Minute Run

Tests cardiorespiratory fitness levels by having students run as far as possible in 20 minutes.


Equipment
A running course, one stopwatch and a score card and pencil for each student.

Pros
  • Very simple. 
  • Students not compared to others to the same extent as in the mile run/walk and the 600-yard run/walk. 
  • Long enough to test aerobic power rather than speed. 

Cons
  • The length of the test often scares students. 
  • Difficult to determine distance covered. 

Step Test 

Tests cardiorespiratory fitness by having the student take 24 steps per minute for three minutes in an "up, up, down, down" pattern and then count his or her heart rate for one minute. Along with the 600-yard run/walk, it is one of the weakest cardiovascular tests.


Equipment
A bench 12 inches in height, metronome set at 96 beats per minute, a stopwatch, a stethoscope (carotid pulse can also be used).

Pros
  • Pulse recovery rather than a performance test. 
  • Shorter. 
  • Students not visually compared to anyone else (usually). 

Cons
  • Depends too heavily on people's pulse rates. Natural differences can change results. 
  • Some students cannot keep pace.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Discover How Fitness Finders® Can Help Tame Your Classroom!



This Fall 2017, Fitness Finders® is thrilled to introduce Zooper Safari™, a new classroom management program that educates and motivates students toward positive classroom behavior! The Zooper Safari™ curriculum pairs up-

     · 7 Zooper Behaviors
     · 7 Featured Creatures
     · 7 Different Continents

Zooper Safari™ appeals to childrens’ natural curiosity and love of animals. It actively engages kids by using a variety of lessons and reinforcement activities to connect students to the Featured Creature that displays the desired Zooper Behavior of each lesson. Students are then encouraged to transfer the Zooper Behavior to themselves. Zooper Safari™ also meets many Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core Language Art Standards (CCSS), which are listed in each lesson.

Zooper Safari™ emphasizes the following important Zooper Behaviors:

 Zooper Behavior
Featured Creature/Continent
1. Have a Positive Attitude
1. Sulcata Tortoise - Africa
2. Stays on Task
2. Beaver - North America
3. Listen and Follow Instructions
3. Lipizzaner - Europe
4. Take Initiative
4. Tiger – Asia
5. Put Things in Order
5. Gentoo Penguin - Antarctica
6. Think of Others
6. Koala - Australia
7. Work with Others
7. Alpaca - South America
   











Don’t just take our word for it! We asked teachers to test Zooper Safari™ in their classrooms from Kindergarten through 4th grade. Here’s what they said:

The Zooper Safari™ program was a great way for my students to learn the behaviors necessary for our class to learn, have fun, and be safe on all of our kindergarten adventures.” – Chris

One day a student started complaining about something and another student pointed out to him that they were just learning about not whining or complaining.” – Cindy

I like saying-I want to see Beaver Behavior- and the kids will look over to the map and remember ‘Stay on Focus.’ That was the first one we learned and really seemed to impact them the most. They also will tell each other to ‘Stay on Focus’ when someone is getting off topic.” – Allison

“During the week that we worked on ‘Positive attitude’, I noticed less complaining in the classroom. Students who would usually tell me that something is too hard would instead ask for help to complete an assignment. When we worked on the ‘Stay on Task’ behavior, I noticed students staying on task more and completing their assignments faster. When students were off task, I could refer to the beaver and remind them of their goal to show on task behavior.” – Rebecca

Zooper Safari™ teaches foundational life and classroom behavior skills that will enable students to be successful now and in the future. Tame your classroom this year and fulfill your dream to have engaged, well-behaved, and interested students with Zooper Safari™!