The following assessment techniques were used:
1. Direct observation- Throughout the course of this project, students could easily see their exercise progress directly from the pedometer and on their pedometer record sheet each time they recorded their new data.
2. Analysis of data- When students transferred their pedometer data to the electronic spreadsheet, they could more easily assess each physical activity in terms of high, moderate or low “exercise value”.
3. Group discussion- Students “pair-shared” ideas then “brainstormed” with the class about the factors that influence “exercise value”.
4. Reflective statements- Students reflected on their personal data, its meaning and implications. Reflection was made easier by viewing their data and comparing it to the Surgeon General’s recommendations.
5. Rubrics- Students had access to teacher-generated assessment rubrics during the project.Assessment Rubric 1Assessment Rubric 2Assessment Rubric 3
Learning Context/ Introduction
“Physical fitness is a function of personal lifestyle choices.” This project fits into a healthy lifestyles based P.E. curriculum. The “Steps Count!” project is designed to help middle school students understand how much exercise is enough. Students monitor their physical activity in P.E. class by using pedometers. They develop an awareness of their exercise intensity and duration and how that fits into a healthy lifestyle. They are encouraged to get additional exercise outside of P.E. class. The goal is to meet the Surgeon General’s recommendation for frequency, intensity, type and exercise time.
For this project, students use pedometers that count steps and measure exercise time. Students keep a written record of their step count and exercise time during several P.E. classes for various units throughout the school year. They begin to see different “exercise values” (intensity based on number of steps per minute) for the physical activities they recorded. In the computer lab session, the students input their data on the “Steps Count” excel spread sheet and calculate steps per minute for each physical activity. It creates a bar graph showing high, medium or low “exercise value” for the activities. Students think about what factors affected the “exercise value” of their activities and write reflective statements.
To succeed in this learning experience, students need to use pedometers properly. Students also need to accurately record their data: steps and exercise time for each activity. They will use computer skills to log on, enter data on the spreadsheet and save information electronically.
Students will learn how physical activities and sports can be categorized by "exercise value."
Students will reflect on factors that influence "exercise value."
Students will gain awareness of how much and which types of physical activities are enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle.Physical Activity Pyramid
Planning (including developing the lesson materials): Approximately 4 hours
Day 1- Approximately 10 - 15 minutes for pedometer procedures.
Allow several classes for students to record a variety of data.
Approx. 4-5 minutes of class time is needed for pickup, put away and recording data each class.
Computer Lab day- allow 1 class period for recording and interpreting data.
Assessment:Approximately 2 hours
How does exercise time and exercise intensity fit into maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
Instructional modifications included extended time, student pairs and teacher assistance both in the computer lab and in class. Students with poor computer skills could get extra help from the teacher, peers or teacher aide in the computer lab.
At the beginning of the school year, students learn the class procedure for using pedometers. They learn how pedometers operate, how to take proper care of them, how to read the data, reset and change the modes. Students will use the same pedometer all year. They will record the step count and exercise time for the various activities in P.E. class. Students develop personal accountability when given this responsibility.
The teacher decides which days are most appropriate for pedometer use. Classes when the students will be most active will be the best choices. Students are encouraged to stay active to get a good step count. Often, because students are excited to use pedometers and to get a good step count, they will jog in place or jump around to get a higher step count. This should not be of much concern since this is the nature of how children like to move. Students like to frequently check their step count during class. They get personalized, accurate feedback anytime they want to check. The “Steps Count!” project helps students to personalize fitness and utilize some current best practices in physical education: authentic assessment, student accountability, personal and social responsibility, inclusion and maximizing activity time.
Students collect and record personal data, analyze it and reflect on the value of various physical activities. They compare their activity level with the Surgeon General’s recommendations. Students gain an awareness of the exercise value of various physical activities and sports and how much exercise is enough to maintain a healthy body.
Pedometer use gives the teacher specific objective data to use for planning. The teacher can alter lessons to allow for optimum activity time.
Technology enhanced students understanding of the “exercise value” of various physical activities. Through an excel spreadsheet students’ personal data was formulated into steps per minute. After imputing their data, students saw a bar graph visually displaying the steps per minute. This display allowed students to more accurately make comparisons of various physical activities. Students were better prepared to make reflective statements in the journal entry. The students’ finished projects could be saved in electronic portfolios. The template could be made available from the P.E. website for students and families' personal use.
Reflections and Feedback
“Fitness is a function of personal lifestyle choices.”
This project was developed to give students accurate, personal data on their physical activity level in P.E. class over a significant period of time. With accurate data students can meaningfully reflect on factors affecting their activity level. Students will better understand how activity level relates to personal fitness. Using the physical activity pyramid, they can determine how physical activities maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Many students liked this project because they used technology and because they got personal feedback. The exercise time data was very useful for the teacher. This project was also challenging for the teacher because students had a diverse range of computer skills. Many students needed help entering data. Middle school students also need to be reminded to be precise and accurate in their record keeping. Some of the data they wrote did not make much sense.
Students do the following during the “Steps Count” Pedometer Project.
Students wear pedometers and attempt to get a significant step count by staying physically active during P.E. class. They use pedometers responsibly during a variety of physical activities through out the school year.
Students record their data accurately on a personal pedometer record.
Students create an electronic record of their data, which generates an “exercise value” and a graph for each physical activity/sport.
Students interpret the data, determining how each activity/sport fits into the physical activity pyramid.
Students will write reflective statements including: factors affecting "exercise value," and which activities they could choose to meet the Surgeon General’s recommendation for physical activity for teens and children. (The Surgeon General recommends 60 minutes/5 days per week.)
Student work sample 1Student work sample 2Student work sample 3Student work sample 4
Each student was assigned a pedometer to use during class. We used the “Walk 4 Life” brand pedometer with step counter and exercise time functions.
Teacher used the computer lab with SmartBoard. Students used computers to enter their data electronically on the “Steps Count” Project spreadsheet. Students had access to the teacher’s folder containing all materials, expectations, and assessments related to the project.
Pedometer Record SheetSteps Count! SpreadsheetSteps Count! terms