December 18, 2012

PKES Family Fitness Night

Fun for the Whole Panther Community

This year our related arts team was put in charge of organizing community events through out the year. The goal was to bring parents and members of the community together with our kids while also showcasing some of the things we are doing in our Related Arts classes. My co teacher Mrs. Dillon organized a wonderful night of family fun with her Family Fitness Night. I asked her to write a guest blog entry for Innovative P.E. in hope that maybe some of our fellow P.E. teachers around the world would like the idea and try to plan events similar to hers. She did an amazing job with the event and got a lot of great feedback from parents, teachers, and students who all loved her event.

There are many reasons to have a Family Fitness Night at your school. The most obvious reason to have a Family Fitness Night is to promote the importance of being physically active, no matter what your age or skill level is. The activities that our students and their families participated in were created so that all family members could participate. Another reason to have a Family Fitness Night is to promote a sense of community within our school. Our principal is a huge advocate for community involvement as well as building a community throughout our entire school. Family Fitness Night provides students and their families an opportunity to meet other students and  families which ultimately builds our school community as a whole.

 When planning our Family Fitness Night, there were many things that needed to be taken into consideration. I first thought about who I would offer our fitness night to and eventually decided on having one fitness night for K-2nd and another one for 3rd – 5th.  I then thought about where I wanted Fitness Night to take place. With the limited amount of outside space at our school, as well as unpredictable weather, I decided to use the gym. Next, I had to figure out the best way to include as many families as possible. I decided on offering two sessions that were one hour each.  In each of the sessions there were 8 stations with between 6-8 participants at each station. This allowed me to include about 130 people. After figuring out how it was going to be structured, I began to plan which stations I wanted to include and how they would be laid out in the gym. I created station explanations that were hung on the wall at each station, as well as a station map (see above picture)  that showed families how to rotate to each station. Additionally, all equipment that I was going to need had to be organized by station. This allowed for easy setup the night of the event as well as making sure that all equipment that was needed was available to be used. Finally, about two weeks before the event, registration forms were sent home with all students in K- 2nd Grade.  As forms were returned, they were entered into a spreadsheet and then were sent a confirmation e-mail that they were registered. Once all available spots were full, all additional registrations were sent an e-mail letting them know that fitness night was completely full.

The following is a list of all activities that were participated in on Family Fitness Night:

1.      Fitness
2.      Nintendo Wii – Just Dance 4
3.      Cornhole
4.      Rock Climbing Wall
5.      Bowling
6.      Hoops and Ropes
7.      Scooter Obstacle Course
8.      Beach Ball Volleyball

Overall, I felt that our first Family Fitness Night went well. Everything seemed to flow well once the night got started.  I recommend sending out a survey after your event in order to receive feedback from the families that attended. After sending out my survey, I received several great ideas to help improve our next fitness night. Some of the feedback I received includes:

1.      Open the partition between the gym and the cafeteria so that stations can be spread out more.

2.      Have a final activity that included all families (ie: group dance/game)
3.      Using a whistle to change stations as opposed to just when the music was stopped.
4.      Having someone monitor the Wii to make sure students shared the controllers
5.      Overbook by a couple of families so that if one family does not show up we can still fill the space available.

We also had several generous companies around the Fort Mill area that donated door prizes for the kids as they left the event. Some of these companies included Publix, Family Trust, and Winthrop University Athletics. Again we owe them a big thank you for the items they donated which made Family Fitness Night that much better.
Thank you Mrs. Dillon and if you have any questions for her or  would like any extra information on this event please email me at or leave a comment below. Innovative P.E. is all about sharing ideas and helping out all teachers who need a new idea or just a group of people to bounce ideas off of.

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