5 Ways to Improve YOUR Health Before Summer

April 15th, 2014

Spring is a time for renewal, and as the green leaves emerge and the weather improves we’re more motivated to be active outdoors. So how do we press “Play” again after a long winter on “Pause?” Here are 5 tips I hope you’ll find helpful.

SPARK’s Common Core Survival Guide (Part 2)

April 10th, 2014

Welcome to the second installment of our CCSS Survival Guide. As I mentioned in Part 1, it’s important to know and understand your district’s interpretation and guidelines for working toward Common Core Standards. This week’s tip: Planning with Depth of Knowledge (DOK) on your mind.

SPARK’s Paul Rosengard Receives Honor Award

April 7th, 2014

At this year’s annual CAHPERD (California Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) SPARK researcher, co-author and Executive Director Paul Rosengard was presented with the CAHPERD Honor Award for his “Outstanding and noteworthy contributions to the advancement of physical education in California.”

My favorite principal in Malaysia

April 4th, 2014

Dr. Sallis recently had an opportunity to visit Malaysia, to speak at the International Conference on Obesity and have meetings with collaborators. As part of tours of potential neighborhoods for an IPEN Adolescent study, we visited a high school in Kuala Lumpur. While meeting with the principal we told her we were interested in physical activity. She immediately launched into a passionate endorsement of the importance of physical activity in school. She said it was essential to have a balance of movement and academics. She also said that physical activity helps students with their academic studies.

SPARK’s Common Core Survival Guide (Part 1)

March 20th, 2014

Meeting CCSS mandates without selling out as a physical educator!
The Common Core wave has been crashing on the shores of physical education for a while now. Regardless of the pros and cons of this movement, many of us are faced with the reality and requirement of alignment. PE specialists have been cautiously studying the standards with a focus on maintaining what we believe is truly important – creating a high MVPA environment in which students develop the skills and knowledge needed to enjoy a lifetime of physical activity.

Recess Implementation Ideas & Resources

March 18th, 2014

After assessing your current recess program with the School Recess Report Card in the SPARK Recess Handbook (included in the SPARKabc’s program), prioritize the components targeted for improvement. Priority goes to the components with the lowest scores on the report card. It is then time to implement!

The Importance of Recess

March 18th, 2014

Recess has been on the proverbial chopping block in the past decade due to budget cuts and the pinhole focus on academic standardized test scores. The powers that be have decided recess just isn’t important enough to keep. Well, I for one hope to shout that it is extremely valuable and worth fighting for. I’m not the only one, and more and more folks are causing a fuss to reverse this alarming trend.

Advocating for Physical Education and Student Health

March 14th, 2014

Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but that doesn’t stop hundreds of people from going on “The Hill” to advocate for quality physical education. And, it seems to be working! Advocacy has helped provide federal funding for physical education and other important public health initiatives.

Schooling, Health and Youth Development – What is Necessary?

March 13th, 2014

Each child, in each school, in each of our communities deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. That’s what a whole child approach to learning, teaching, and community engagement really is. ASCD authors have penned a number of articles about the need for schools, educators and policymakers to focus on the health and well-being of their students. Not just for the sake of their health and well-being (if that shouldn’t be enough on its own) but also to support effective teaching and learning.

Healthy & Easy Recipe for National Nutrition Month

March 11th, 2014

Try this recipe for National Nutrition Month. This Apple Almond Salad recipe is easy to use when teaching kids about healthy habits, and easy for them to learn some basic kitchen skills, too! At a school or community program (or even at home) use this activity to challenge kids to learn about what they taste. It works with many fruit & veggie-based recipes, but our favorite is this apple-almond salad!